Studies into Indigenous Australian mental health show a disparity in mental health outcomes and access to services between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Although ACCHS employ the majority of Indigenous mental health workers, they need more clinically qualified Indigenous staff (NACCHO 2019), as does the mainstream mental health workforce. The efficacy of mental health services for Indigenous Australians can be improved at a systemic level if mainstream services form partnerships with Indigenous communities and ACCHS.
This review discusses:
The NSW Government is investing $21 million to expand the Aboriginal mental health and suicide prevention workforce as part of $131 million mental health recovery package.
The funding will allow every Local Health District and Specialty Network to employ Aboriginal Care Navigators and Aboriginal Peer Workers.
Aboriginal Mental Health Care Navigators will be responsible for supporting Aboriginal people and their families to connect with the most appropriate service within and outside the local health district. They would also provide ongoing support and contact with these individuals and families.
Aboriginal Mental Health Peer Workers will be embedded within public mental health services and responsible for providing culturally sensitive support, particularly in emergency settings. They would also link them to other supports, such as suicide prevention services, drug and alcohol services, and Aboriginal community services.
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.