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The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (AIH) was contracted by the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) to develop this Indigenous mental health resource portal. The portal aims to empower the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) workforce to identify and address mental health issues and associated substance use issues. The portal will improve access, and promote awareness and usage of, appropriate mental health screening/assessment tools, information, and resources.
The development of this online resource portal is the result of the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) Improving the capacity of workers in Indigenous communities initiative, which supports health practitioners including Aboriginal Health Workers to: (1) identify and address mental illness and associated substance use issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; (2) recognise the early warning signs of mental illness; and (3) make referrals for treatment. The portal was also informed by a scoping study that was undertaken by an independent consultant for the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) in 2009.
The AIH places great importance on the quality of the content to be included on its web resource, and on its presentation. The quality and suitability of the Indigenous mental health resource portal content was addressed in three ways: