Social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the broader context of the social determinants of health

Henderson, Graham, Robson, Carrie, Cox, Leonie, Dukes, Craig, Tsey, Komla, and Haswell, Melissa (2007) Social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the broader context of the social determinants of health. In: Anderson, Ian, Baum, Fran, and Bentley, Michael, (eds.) Beyond Bandaids: exploring the underlying social determinants of Aboriginal health. Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Casuarina, NT, Australia, pp. 136-164.

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Abstract

The social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is affected by a range of social determinants of health. These determinants include forms of State violence and inter-generational trauma, imbalanced power relations and limited access to services within the mainstream population, and systemised and individualised discrimination and racism. These contribute greatly to the perpetuation of lower income and standards of living, including poor quality and overcrowded housing and community infrastructure, and poorer outcomes in health, education, employment and the justice system. Indigenous Australians continue to experience higher levels of poverty, incarceration and ill health than the rest of the Australian population. Given these experiences, and the resulting disadvantage they exert on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s employment opportunities, it is not surprising that welfare payments originally designed as safety nets for the small minority, that is 5–10 per cent of the mainstream population that become unemployed at any given time, have become a trap for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, where up to 80 per cent of residents live on some form of welfare. The pervasive effects of inter-generational welfare on such communities are clearly visible and continue to entrench the ‘downtrodden image’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the media. The experience of these inequities promotes adoption of risk behaviours such as smoking, inhalant use and harmful drinking, as well as poor nutrition and the morbidity associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal disease and mental illness, and many infectious diseases (ABS & AIHW 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005).

Item ID: 2977
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: social and emotional wellbeing; health; indigenous; social determinants of health; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; empowerment
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ISBN: 978-0-7340-3744-2
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2009 01:05
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 80%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 20%
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