A smoking ceremony was held this week on the site of a future Yarning Circle to take shape on the eastern end of PA Hospital building.The space aims to be a stress-free place for “time out” for contemplation and a distraction outside of the sterile hospital environment.
Executive Director of Clinical Support Services, Kathy Grudzinskas said that the space was all about welcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and reducing those things that seem unwelcoming and traumatic to them when attending a hospital.
“A ‘Yarning Circle’ is designed to provide patients with a culturally safe place to visit, meet family, other patients and staff, while away from their home for long periods of time and to assist in mental and physical healing,” she said.
“We know that just by being outside in the open air can be rejuvenating and can reduce those feelings of anxiety, anger, depression, and the closed-in feeling that a hospital building can induce and this is particularly relevant to our First Nations people who have high rates of discharge against medical advice.”
The Yarning Circle will be officially opened during NAIDOC Week, which has been moved to November this year, to see the health benefits of stress reduction and provide a place of comfort where patients can capture a special spirit and connection to the place while they are off country.