Accessibility Tools

Co-design and Co-production

— Co-design / Co-production with First Nations People

Wright, M., Lin, A., O’Connell, M., Bullen, J., & Flavell, H. 
Understanding and working with different worldviews to co-design cultural security in clinical mental health settings to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. 
Primary Health Care Research & Development
22, E59. 
Full Text


Background: Creating the conditions for meaningful relationships is essential to understanding Aboriginal worldviews and co-designing ways of working to achieve better health outcomes. Non-Aboriginal health professionals struggle to recognise the importance of social relationships to Aboriginal peoples and tensions emerge due to these different worldviews informed by different ontologies and epistemologies. This is more so in clinical settings where training and models of care are often inadequate for working with Aboriginal people. The impact of different understandings of relationships on the provision of health services to Aboriginal peoples remains under-researched. There is a critical need to reassess the way clinicians are supported by their organisations to engage with Aboriginal clients in competent and meaningfully ways.

Wright, M., Brown A, Dudgeon, P., McPhee, R., Coffin, J., Pearson, G., Li, A., Newnham, E., King Baguley, K., Webb,M., Sibosado, A., Crisp, N.,& Flavell, H. L. 
Our journey, our story: a study protocol for the evaluation of a co-design framework to improve services for Aboriginal youth mental health and well-being. 
BMJ Open
11, e042981. 
Full Text


Introduction: Mainstream Australian mental health services are failing Aboriginal young people. Despite investing resources, improvements in well-being have not materialised. Culturally and age appropriate ways of working are needed to improve service access and responsiveness. This Aboriginal-led study brings Aboriginal Elders, young people and youth mental health service staff together to build relationships to co-design service models and evaluation tools. Currently, three Western Australian youth mental health services in the Perth metropolitan area and two regional services are working with local Elders and young people to improve their capacity for culturally and age appropriate services. Further Western Australian sites will be engaged as part of research translation.

Project Partners

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Acknowledgement of Country

The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the National Primary Health Network Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and live on across Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

Definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience

“A lived experience recognises the effects of ongoing negative historical impacts and or specific events on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It encompasses the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the individual, family or community.

“People with lived or living experience of suicide are those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through a suicidal crisis, been bereaved by suicide or having a loved one who has died by suicide, acknowledging that this experience is significantly different and takes into consideration Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ways of understanding social and emotional wellbeing.” - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre

We welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to this site and invite them to provide any feedback or items for inclusion.

Recognition of Lived Experience

We also recognise people with lived and living experience of mental ill-health and recovery and the experience of people who are carers, families, kin, or supporters.


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