Mental health and connectedness: exploring urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders understandings of mental health

Kilcullen, M., Cadet-James, Y., and Swinbourne, A. (2011) Mental health and connectedness: exploring urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders understandings of mental health. In: Combined Abstracts of 2011 Psychology Conferences. p. 199. From: 46th APS Annual Conference, 4-8 October 2011, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Download (33kB)
View at Publisher Website: http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/File...
 
65


Abstract

It has been acknowledged that the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been 'bedevilled' by the inappropriate application of non-Indigenous models of mental health. Given the poor health outcomes of Indigenous people, another approach to mental health practice is required. The space in which clinical psychology is practiced across cultures continues to be defined, with many services being provided by non-Indigenous practitioners. In order to enhance Indigenous health and wellbeing, it is necessary for non-Indigenous practitioners to find in a culturally safe way in which to enter the negotiated space of cross-cultural mental health. This will be facilitated through understanding both the points of similarly and divergence in perspectives of mental health across cultures. The current study aimed to provide a voice for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to convey their understandings of mental health so that an accurate reflection may be available for those who are engaged in healing through health promotion and disease prevention. This study explored urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander's understandings of mental health using a positive psychology framework. A qualitative research design was conducted with a sample of 19 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants. Data was collected via individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Qualitative analysis was conducted using a grounded theory method. Four themes emerged as reflecting health and wellbeing – coping skills, knowledge social support, and connectedness. The theme of connectedness emerged as reflecting a unique contribution to Indigenous health and wellbeing. The role of connectedness to country, family and kinship, knowledge and social networks were highlighted. Further, the theme of connectedness also emerged as central to supporting cultural identity. This information has implications for cross-cultural clinical practice, through providing a map for non-Indigenous practitioners to engage culturally safe practice. Further, it will support the development of culturally safe health and wellbeing programs that sustain and nurture the cultural identity and mental health of Indigenous people. In this way, meaningful contributions may be made by health professionals to closing the gap' in health and mental health outcomes for Indigenous people.

Item ID: 24985
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-909881-43-6
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2013 06:33
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 40%
Downloads: Total: 65
Last 12 Months: 3
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page