“It’s our happy place”: Mums from diverse backgrounds hold celebration to relieve stress levels

Fatema Huda and her son Artin

Women from various culturally and linguistically diverse communities of western Sydney were out in force at Guilford community centre recently to relieve stress by participating in fun activities.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Multicultural Health Program Officer Nina Hartcher said this wellness and stress management event was much needed after a year of pandemic fear and restriction-induced anxiety.

“Our communities’ mental health is one of our biggest priorities,” Nina said.

“It was a huge request from our communities to hold a fun get-together as soon as restrictions eased.

 “Many women present here come from a refugee background and are still recovering from traumatic events of their past. The COVID-19 pandemic only added stress to their lives.”

Ending stress together- Fatema Huda with Nasima Fayazi and her son Mehran

The event program included making artworks representing participants’ happiness, yoga and meditation sessions, dancing and discussions about stress management.

Boronia multicultural services family support worker Sanathani Mahesan said it was beneficial for mums from different communities to take part in events like this one.

“Most of these women rarely socialise outside their community circle,” Sanathani said.

“This is a great opportunity for them to make friends with mums from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We want them to focus on the similarities they all have.”

Event organisers Boronia multicultural services family support worker Sanathani Mahesan, WSLHD Multicultural Health Program Officer Fouzia Hamdard and WSLHD Multicultural Health Program Officer Nina Hartcher

The event was organised by WSLHD Multicultural Health in collaboration with Boronia Multicultural Services and brought together women from Afghan, Hindi, Tamil, Kurdish, Iraqi, Pakistani and Nepali communities.

The main topics discussed were dedicated to building resilience to stress and focusing on positivity.

Afghan mother Fatema Huda

Afghan mother Fatema Huda said she enjoyed the yoga and art sessions.

“Both me and my son Mehran love coming to Guilford community health centre. It’s our happy place,” she said.

“Atrin loves his study and playtime when we attend mother’s groups every week.

“I am grateful to receive such social support and today’s event is a highlight of my week.”

To learn more about the events for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, contact Nina Hartcher, WSLHD Multicultural Health Program Officer by emailing Nina.Hartcher@health.nsw.gov.au, or visit the Boronia Multicultural Services website.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14.