Ngalaiya Boorai Gabara Budbut - supporting the heads and hearts of children: Responsive mental health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents

Project: Research

Project Details


Our work has established that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) adolescents have substantial unmet needs for primary mental health care.
There are two key impediments to quality care: inadequate assessment of needs; and inadequate response. The overarching aim of this proposal is to
strengthen the health system to improve Aboriginal adolescent mental health. We will:
1. Validate a suite of culturally appropriate assessment tools focusing on mental health needs and inclusive of trauma/ adverse life experiences;
2. Co-design a package of resources targeting health care providers to ensure timely and appropriate response to identified needs; and
3. Implement and evaluate the co-designed package across Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal specific services to inform a scalable model of care.
The proposed research is mixed-methods and participatory in design, in partnership with communities across ACT, NSW and NT. A Research Governance
Group will be formed to enable co-design and capacity development. Objective 1 (validation of tools) will focus on commonly used assessment tools
(aPHQ9D, Kessler, CROPS), verify them for language and cultural safety, and validate them against gold standard structured clinical assessment. Objective 2
(package of resources to strengthen response) will use the participatory approach of intervention mapping to co-design a package of evidence-based and
locally relevant interventions. Objective 3 will implement the package over a 9-month period and assess implementation outcomes (coverage and uptake,
fidelity, cost, appropriateness, and feasibility) and short-term impacts on quality of care provided to young people. The project’s design is based on extensive
community consultation and engagement and is closely aligned with the objectives and desired outcomes of the MRFF grant opportunity. It will lead to new
culturally safe tools, resources and capacity development that will improve Aboriginal adolescent mental health.
Short titleMental health ATSI adolescents
StatusNot started


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