Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Circle and Dots

Empowering Service Systems

Providing culturally safe and appropriate mental health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

We aim to develop frameworks and practice guidelines that empower mental health services to deliver culturally safe care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, by answering the following questions:

  • What is cultural safety in mental health care?
  • What are the key components of a culturally safe mental health care service?
  • How can mainstream mental health services collaborate with Traditional Healers to support the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities?

Specifically, this research aims to understand what factors make a mental health service culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to provide frameworks and guides to better equip mainstream services to serve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, and to be culturally safe workplaces for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce.

Key Projects

Perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers, carers, clinicians, Elders and Traditional Healers on how mainstream mental health services can be culturally safe,  will be sought via a qualitative survey.

A Delphi study of expert perspectives on cultural safety in mental healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We will combine various sources of information (patient interviews & observational studies) to model and map a patient’s journey through the mental health system. This will help us identify points in the system which can be improved to promote cultural and clinical safety.

We will work with Traditional Healers to understand how mainstream mental health services can collaborate with Traditional Healers to support the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Goals

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • A systematic review and meta synthesis to answer the question, “What are the key components of a culturally safe mental health care service for Indigenous peoples (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Maori peoples, First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples)?”
  • A framework with companion guidelines that includes,
    – how to ensure services are culturally safe
    – specific knowledge, skills, beliefs and attitudes that lead to culturally safe clinical care
  • Empowering a diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce including Traditional Healers, Elders and community workers

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