Evaluating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing services: A collective case study in Far North Queensland

Mary Anne Furst, Tina McDonald, Janya McCalman, Jose Salinas-Perez, Ruth Fagan, Anita Lee Hong, Merrissa Nona, Vicki Saunders, Luis Salvador-Carulla

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Access to a coordinated range of strengths-based, culturally appropriate community-led primary mental health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing services is critical to the mental health and wellbeing of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and is a policy commitment of the Australian government. However, complex and fragmented service networks and a lack of standardised service data are barriers in identifying what services are available and what care they provide.

    METHOD: A standardised service classification tool was used to assess the availability and characteristics of Social and Emotional Wellbeing services for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in two regions in Queensland, Australia.

    RESULTS: We identified a complex pattern of service availability and gaps in service provision. Non-Indigenous non-governmental organisations provided a significant proportion of services, particularly 'upstream' support, while Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations were more likely to provide 'downstream' crisis type care. Most services provided by the public sector were through Child Safety and Youth Justice departments.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate the complexity of current networks, and show that non-Indigenous organisations are disproportionately influential in the care received by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, despite community goals of self-determination, and government commitment to increasing capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to support their local communities. These findings can be used to support decision making and planning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
    Early online date8 Apr 2024
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2024

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