Natural Therapy Pages – Investing in the Workforce

Anyone looking for a Complementary Health Practitioner will likely find them on Natural Therapy Pages, Australia’s largest directory of holistic health workers. Listing over 13,000 Australian natural health practitioners, Natural Therapy Pages has a quarter of a million visitors every month to their website. They also host the Natural Therapy Courses website to help provide support and information for people interested in studying a natural therapy course.

Thinking Outside the Box

Around 50% of all long-term mental health problems are preventable during infancy and childhood (ARACY, 2013). However, many of the earliest risks and difficulties occur during infancy and are either not noticed or are not serious enough to yet “qualify” for early intervention services…leaving many families to fall through the gaps.

Natural Therapy Pages uses an innovative approach to overcome some of these challenges by funding scholarships for massage therapists to complete training to deliver simple and effective community parent education, infant mental health promotion programs.  Many families use massage during pregnancy and after birth they already have a strong and trusting relationship with a massage therapist. By taking the program to where parents are already engaged, this partnership will help us reach up to a further 3,500 families over the next three years.

Fifty percent of adult mental illness is preventable with the right sort of infant and child mental health supports. Trials show the First Touch Program and its components can help reduce and even reverse some of these early risks.
By supporting training of people who parents already trust, this project helps us reach parents and babies who migh otherwise fall through the gaps. 
scholarships issued so far
babies receiving evidence-based infant mental health promotion over the next 3 years
saved in costs of social service and mental health care*

*It’s an awesome ROI, right? The amount is based on evidence that each dollar spent on early intervention such as our First Touch Program, saves between $2.80 and $21.00 in long term prevention of cime, mental illness, health care, welfare and other “taxpayer” costs (Allen, 2011; Valentine & Katz, 2007). So how, exactly, did we work these figures out? It’s quite simple: the savings are what’s left over after we take out the cost of training the health workers and delivering the program to the number of babies (assuming a very conservative $2.80 ROI).

As a foster parent of traumatised babies, I have seen first hand the importance of learning "how" to touch appropriately. In today's society it is becoming such a taboo to touch another human being and I think that we are losing a vital part of who we are. Children are growing into teenagers and adults who don't know how to touch, I hear first hand stories of abuse and can only wonder if the need for human contact and this lack that we have created has caused this. To learn about gentle, respectful touch from your parents as a baby and to know what loving touch and it's appropriate boundaries feel like, I think must help to return us to something better. live in an area of mixed demographic. We have a young population and many are just starting their families. I would like to be able to offer help to these young mums and dads to ensure their health and well being is supported and some of these problems prevented.

Christine TaylorRemedial Therapist, Natural Therapy Pages Scholarship Awardee, 2016

My goal is to incorporate infant massage knowledge into my postpartum doula work, and to deliver the First Touch Program in full to families in South Eastern Sydney. Since starting work in the perinatal field I have been astonished at the rates of postnatal depression. The women I work with are at high risk of developing PND and sometimes struggle to feel bonded...with their babies. These women believe they should be able to handle it all, the baby, the house, the husband, and even returning to work within months of the birth. These families are inviting me into their home to help them learn newborn care and what better way can I support them than by...supporting them to respond to their babies needs through massage, other forms of respectful touch and other responsive interactions.

Nancy McleanRemedial Massage Therapist, Doula, Natural Therapy Pages Scholarship Winner 2017

Meet Natural Therapy Pages

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