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 guide mental health care services to deliver culturally safe mental health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, by first 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?
  • What are culturally safe pathways for mental health care?

Specifically, this research will establish cultural models with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teams, managers, workforce development, cultural liaison and brokerage services to better equip mainstream services to serve their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, rather than deferring them to under-resourced community controlled services.

Our priority is to understand and build the evidence for what works, and move the mental health care system towards the sustainable implementation of these evidence-based systems.

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.

Defining and building evidence to implement the mental health act through mainstream services that employ Traditional Healers and Elders

A mathematical modelling approach previously used to inform better client pathways in emergency departments will be applied to understand the role of traditional healing and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health clients. This project includes a qualitative component, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers of hospital mental health care services will be invited to share their stories.

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 and Metis 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
  • Implement the WA Mental Health Act

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