Yulang Indigenous Evaluation is an Aboriginal-led business that works with communities and clients to research and evaluate policies and programs that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We’ve been commissioned by the National Mental Health Commission to investigate and report on best-practice partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities, and mainstream mental health services. This is the one of the early stages in a body of work the National Mental Health Commission is taking to improve the quality of mental health services provided by mainstream organisations to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The report will have two main elements:
The overall aim of the work is to encourage mainstream mental health services to form partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and to do so in appropriate ways and following appropriate processes, so as to improve the quality of their services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2025 supports and assists NSW Health services in delivering respectful and appropriate mental health services in partnership with Aboriginal services, people and communities.
This strategy is designed to support and assist NSW Health services in delivering respectful and appropriate care in partnership with Aboriginal services, people and communities. The strategy is the foundation for change that will support a future way of working under the national Agreement for Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health outcomes.
This Strategy recognises that Aboriginal people are experts in Aboriginal communities and needs, and that improvements in the coordination of services and in the quality of service delivery and planning will need to start in genuine co-design processes, led by Aboriginal people. Person centred and culturally safe services acknowledge the strength and resilience of Aboriginal people, families, and communities.
MHCC recognises that historically, the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and human services has been and continues to remain contentious. It is critical that mental health and human services take responsibility for ensuring that their organisational culture and practice approach are both culturally safe and sensitive, and that workers appropriately communicate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people thereby maximising access and equity to services and programs.
MHCC has drawn on contemporary literature about Aboriginal ways of ‘knowing, being and doing’, as well as evidence-based principles and practice in Australia in order to develop a resource which assists member organisations and other community-based services to develop a better understanding as to what culturally safe and sensitive practice might look like when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The guidelines MHCC set out to develop is intended to support quality improvement by increasing awareness of Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and in so doing, facilitate critical reflection on an organisation’s service approach, and foster self-reflection on individual worker practice. A key driver of the project is the need to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel safe and welcomed when accessing a service. To do this successfully, workers need to be aware that engagement and communication are key to building relationships.
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.
“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.
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.