Improving mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People through an Indigenous mental health workforce

Penney Upton, Linda Ford, Ruth Wallace, Sarah Jackson, Jenna Richard, Dominic Upton

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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Abstract

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience high rates of psychological distress and suicide. However, they are less likely to use mental health services than non-Indigenous Australians, and those services do not have sufficient numbers of Indigenous mental health workers. Mental health service use increases when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Indigenous health workers both feel culturally safe. Strategies to increase cultural safety include employing more Indigenous workers, increasing the cultural competency of non-Indigenous workers, and developing health service policies in collaboration with Indigenous workers and the local communities. Cultural safety is believed to improve the retention of Indigenous health workers. It is also important that they feel valued, their cultural values and ways of knowing are respected, and they are provided with mentorship, networking opportunities, and professional development programs
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Commissioning bodyAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Number of pages76
ISBN (Electronic)9781760548506
ISBN (Print)9781760548490
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

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