Mental illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Parker, Robert (2010) Mental illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In: Purdie, Nola, Dudgeon, Pat, and Walker, Roz, (eds.) Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice. Commonwealth of Australia, pp. 65-74.

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Abstract

This chapter specifically deals with mental illness, a concept associated with a ‘clinically significant behavioural or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and is associated with significant distress and disability’ (DSM-IV-TR, 2000, p. xxi). The common types of mental disorders that affect people are Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychosis and Personality Disorder and these are discussed in this chapter, in terms of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may have experienced in both traditional and current contexts.

It is important to view the information in this chapter in the context of other material in this book, particularly the chapters on psychology, social determinants, and substance abuse (Chapters 2, 6 and 9). I also caution that any diagnosis of mental illness affecting an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person should be conducted by expert clinicians such as psychiatrists and psychologists within a culturally safe context wherever possible. This allows for a more accurate assessment of the person being reviewed, with recognition of culturally relevant issues in addition to the recognised availability of adjunctive therapeutic supports such as social and emotional wellbeing counsellors to assist the person if appropriate.

The chapter does not recommend any specific treatments for the conditions discussed per se, but mentions a number of standard resources that may be used by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person suffering from mental illness and their family to discuss available treatments with their clinicians.

Item ID: 12058
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
Related URLs:
ISBN: 978-1-74241-090-6
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2010 00:54
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
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