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New therapeutic space for young people

District Counselling Services open trauma-informed therapeutic room at Croydon Community Health Centre.

SydneyConnect video: Child Therapy Room Launch

“You can create your own path; you can create your own story.” 

This is the message First Nations artist Leticia Quince has for young people who are experiencing hardships.  

“You can have a voice; you can shape that future. Young people have hope and courage and their resilience and art, their stories,” she said.  

Leticia is a proud Wiradjuri woman and owner and Creative Director of Yirra Miya, a First Nations Creative Agency. Her artwork is displayed proudly in the new trauma-informed therapeutic room at Croydon Community Health Centre. 

The re-designed clinical space was created for children and families who have experienced violence, abuse and/or neglect, including child sexual assault. 

Leticia worked together with members of the Sydney Local Health District Child Protection Counselling Service and the Child Sexual Assault Counselling Service to create a background for the room that helps children to feel at ease.   

“A big thing that was emphasised was how we wanted people to feel when they came across seeing the artwork in the therapeutic space, as well as having that sense of calmness and sense of safety,” Leticia said. 

The idea for the room was developed by staff and in December 2022 was a successful entry for the Pitch, the District’s staff innovation challenge, where staff propose initiatives to improve patient care. The Child Protection Counselling Service and Child Sexual Assault Counselling Service was awarded $20,000 in funding from The Pitch to fund the proposal.  

The room was delivered by the Pitch Working Group, made up of staff from the Child Protection and Child Sexual Assault Counselling Units, and the District's Aboriginal Health Unit.   

District teams, together with the statewide service SafeWayz, created a room without any known adverse stimuli and environmental stressors, where clinicians could use the necessary tools, such as toys and learning materials, to help children tell their story.  

“The dedicated space will help support the sensory needs of children who are easily triggered to re-experience traumatic memories,” Angela Hall, District Child Protection Counselling Service Manager, said.  

“The team aimed to create a space that also aligns with our District policies and trauma-informed model of care, and an appropriate clinical space such as this one will enhance the specialised services that are already provided and will improve outcomes for children, young people and their families.” 

District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson is proud of the efforts made by staff in a difficult area of practice, and acknowledged their dedication to helping children, young people and their families.  

“The work you do is really hard work, and I know the emotional toll that it takes on you, but just know how critical the work that you do every day is to support our families, our young ones, and children. It just makes such a difference.” 

“So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work that you do.”