An interview with Rebecca Jacka of Yellow Brick Road, Christchurch
“The Good Bitches Baking is amazing; it is a tangible demonstration of manaakitanga, of how we are trying to support families to be kind to themselves. GBB lets people know, sometimes at the darkest time of their lives, that there are people who care about them and who are reaching out to support them with love and home-baking.”
Rebecca is the Suicide Postvention Coordinator at Yellow Brick Road in Christchurch. Yellow Brick Road is a national organisation supporting families towards mental wellbeing by walking alongside them. The organisation provides support to families who have a loved one experiencing any mental health challenge such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or a borderline personality disorder. The support is generally received by people attending a course with others who are seeking the same support, or it may be on an individual or whānau basis.
Yellow Brick Road in Christchurch runs several different courses including a Men’s Group, Stepping Out for Women (with adult children), Parents of Rainbow Youth and ‘Waves’. GBB provides baking specifically for the eight-week evening Waves Courses which are for those who have lost a loved-one to suicide.
Yellow Brick Road is publicly funded and also relies on grants and donations to provide the support for families which means the home-baking is so important and really appreciated. At a time of raw grief and sadness, GBB enables course participants to step out of their sadness for a little while and share a cup of tea with some specially made “wonderful home-baking” (it regularly comes up in course evaluations that the best thing about a course is the home-baking!). The handwritten note that comes with the baking is also regarded as special and helps people feel cared for and loved.
Asked if there was anything Rebecca would like GBB to change, she responded by saying how lucky Yellow Brick Road feels to receive the baking for the suicide bereavement course but other course facilitators were quite envious and, having seen the difference the home-baking makes, any additional baking would always be welcome!