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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Key references

References for the key publications about the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are listed here.

To access our complete database please use our bibliography.

2014

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014)

Determinants of wellbeing for Indigenous Australians.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This paper looks at the wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and factors linked with wellbeing. While the focus is on subjective measures of wellbeing, a number of objective measures are also considered; for example, employment status, income and health status. In Australia, subjective measures of wellbeing collected in large-scale surveys generally fall into two main types:

  • emotional wellbeing - the balance between a person's positive feelings (such as happiness) and negative feelings (such as sadness)
  • life satisfaction - how a person feels about their life and the extent to which it has met and is meeting their expectations.

The paper is structured as follows:

  • section one describes the key data sources used in this paper, including how subjective wellbeing is measured in these data sources
  • section two provides information on the subjective wellbeing of Indigenous Australians compared with that of non-Indigenous Australians
  • section three examines the connection between Indigenous subjective wellbeing and a number of factors including health, income and employment, education levels, criminal activity, and victimisation rates.

Abstract adapted from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

2010

Dingwall KM, Cairney S (2010)

Psychological and cognitive assessment of Indigenous Australians.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry; 44(1): 20-30

This article provides an evaluation of the psychological and cognitive assessments considered suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The article presents a review of various psychological, mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, and cognitive assessments that have been used in, or developed for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2009

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2009)

Measuring the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report provides a picture of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, using data from the 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) and a range of administrative datasets. An interim module, developed to measure social and emotional wellbeing in the 2004-05 NATSIHS, covered the areas of psychological distress, impact of psychological distress, positive wellbeing, anger, life stressors, discrimination, cultural identification and removal from natural family. This reports assesses the use of the NATSIHS module and makes recommendations to improve the module and other measures of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Haswell M, Hunter E, Wargent R, Hall B, O'Higgins C, West R (2009)

Protocols for the delivery of social and emotional well being and mental health services in Indigenous communities: guidelines for health workers, clinicians, consumers and carers.

Cairns, QLD: Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative, Queensland Health

This manual was written to provide health professionals with a set of rules for the delivery of mental health services in Indigenous communities in Queensland. The information comes from evidence-based research and addresses the lack of resources available to health professionals on best practice standards for providing mental health care to Indigenous clients.

The manual consists of two parts:

  • Part 1 focuses on understanding and supporting social and emotional wellbeing and mental health with Indigenous peoples, covering topics such as:
    • an overview on mental health
    • culturally appropriate mental health assessment and treatment for Indigenous people
    • new approaches to service delivery
    • practitioner tools and mental health care
  • Part 2 provides guidelines for supporting people with the following mental illnesses:
    • depression
    • anxiety disorders
    • self-harming behaviours
    • schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2008

Garvey D (2008)

Review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples.

Retrieved 2008 from http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/other-health-conditions/mental-health/reviews/our-review

Garvey D (2008)

Review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples - considerations, challenges and opportunities.

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin; 8(4): 1-29

Darren Garvey is an Indigenous professional with experience as a recipient and provider of services aimed at addressing the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) needs of Indigenous people, and as an academic involved in the training of Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals in providing such services. Darren's perspective as 'insider' and 'outsider', and his professional interest in the development of a culturally competent workforce contributes to the narrative pursued in the review, and to the interplay of academic, policy and practical concerns.

The review describes aspects of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian people and elements of the Australian contexts in which they live. Major signposts, research findings and interventions concerning Indigenous Australians are highlighted in this review, and a number of general and significant trends are identified. The review attempts to distill several considerations, challenges and opportunities for people involved in the area and for those considering more substantial involvement.

The review begins by discussing the terminology used in the context of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB). Challenges regarding appropriate service provision, policy, intervention and research priorities are discussed, as well as the means by which practical and conceptual dilemmas regarding these challenges might be resolved.

What emerges is a picture of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing which is bleak in its account of the mental health problems prevalent among Indigenous people, but also encouraging in the resilience shown by Indigenous people in the face of such adversity. Encouraging too are the efforts made by health service and other professionals to be more conscious of their roles in promoting good SEWB for Indigenous people and the exploration of the varied sites and opportunities in which such work can take place.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2007

Wilczynski A, Reed-Gilbert K, Milward K, Tayler B, Fear J, Schwartzkoff J (2007)

Evaluation of the Bringing Them Home and Indigenous Mental Health Programs, final report.

Canberra: Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

In 2006, the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health commissioned Urbis Keys Young to evaluate the Bringing Them Home and Indigenous Mental Health Programs. Four programs were covered in the evaluation: the Link-Up Program; the Binging Them Home Program; the Social and Emotional Wellbeing Regional Centre Program; and the Mental Health Program.
The evaluation consisted of a consultation with service providers, associated organisations and clients of the services. The evaluation was advised by a Reference Group with membership from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Ypinazar VA, Margolis SA, Haswell-Elkins M, Tsey K (2007)

Indigenous Australians' understandings regarding mental health and disorders.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry; 41(6): 467-478

2005

Thomson N, Krom I, Trevaskis G, Weissofner N, Leggett N (2005)

A scoping study of depression among Indigenous peoples.

Perth: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet for Beyond Blue

Zubrick SR, Silburn SR, Lawrence DM, Mitrou FG, Dalby RB, Blair EM, Griffin J, Milroy H, De Maio JA, Cox A, Li J (2005)

The social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people: vol 2.

Perth: Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Curtin University of Technology

The intention of the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS) was to build knowledge to develop preventative strategies that promote and maintain the healthy development and the social, emotional, academic, and vocational wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This report, the second of five volumes for disseminating the survey results, presents data collected on the social and emotional wellbeing of 3,993 children aged 4-17 years. Factors discussed include: demography; geographic location; social and environmental influences; biological stresses (such as low birth weight, chronic infections and poor nutrition); and health risk factors. The long-term effects on the health and wellbeing of children who have a carer who was forcibly separated from their natural family by a mission, the government or welfare, are also examined.

Compared with the general population, it was found that Aboriginal people experience greater challenges associated with the emotional or behavioural difficulties of their children. The higher proportion of children at high risk of difficulties, and the lower adult-to-child ratio in the Aboriginal population result in proportionally fewer adult carers to assist children who experience difficulties. The findings demonstrate the problems faced by many Aboriginal communities and families but they also include information on children and young people who are doing well and living healthy lives despite past or current adversity.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2004

Social Health Reference Group (2004)

Social and emotional well being framework: a national strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional well being 2004-2009.

Canberra: Australian Government

This framework provides a five year plan to guide organisations in their work to improve the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It was endorsed in December 2004 by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, and released in October 2005. The framework was developed through extensive public consultation and consists of three parts. The first part contains background information and describes: the guiding principles; understanding social and emotional wellbeing; policy context; foundation documents; and government and community approaches. In the second part the five key strategic directions are discussed and examples of initiatives are provided. Part three focuses on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the framework.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2003

Ministerial Council of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (2003)

Evaluation of responses to Bringing Them Home Report: final report.

Hobart: Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Premier and Cabinet

2000

Dudgeon P, Garvey D, Pickett H (2000)

Working with Indigenous Australians: a handbook for psychologists.

Perth: Gunada Press

This book has been written for psychologists and other health practitioners who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. The book aims to help non-Indigenous practitioners to work more effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by providing detailed information about their history and present reality.

The book is divided into five sections, which discuss the following topics:

  • conceptualising psychology and Indigenous Australians
  • cultural difference and cross-cultural communication
  • psychology and Indigenous people
  • alternative models and communtiy initiatives
  • the last word.

The book includes culturally appropriate artwork as well as personal insights from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners and community members.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

1997

National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families (1997)

Bringing them home: report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families.

Retrieved 17 November 2011 from http://www.humanrights.gov.au/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf

1995

Swan P, Raphael B (1995)

"Ways forward": national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health policy national consultancy report.

Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing, Australia

 
Last updated: 23 October 2014
 
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