Connecting the health of country with the health of people: Application of “caring for country” in improving the social and emotional well-being of Indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand

Fatima, Yaqoot, Liu, Yongbo, Cleary, Anne, Dean, Julie, Smith, Valance, King, Stephanie, and Solomon, Shaun (2023) Connecting the health of country with the health of people: Application of “caring for country” in improving the social and emotional well-being of Indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, 31. 100648.

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Abstract

Emerging evidence from the western literature suggests an increasing focus on applying nature-based interventions for mental health improvements. However, in Indigenous communities, caring for country has always been central to the Indigenous way of life. Knowing that nature-based interventions effectively improve mental health outcomes, this review collated evidence on the application of caring for country in improving social and emotional well-being (SEWB) of Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand. Three studies from Australia and one from New Zealand, explored the role of country or whenua (land) in the lives of Indigenous people. Participation in caring-for country activities was associated with lower levels of psychological distress and strengthened guardianship relationship with country, which positively affected SEWB. This systematic review offers preliminary evidence on the role of caring for country activities in improving the SEWB of Indigenous peoples and highlights the need for strengths-based approaches to improve the SEWB of Indigenous peoples. Funding: None.

Item ID: 78437
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2666-6065
Keywords: Caring for country, Indigenous peoples, Mental health, Social and emotional wellbeing
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2023 03:20
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450420 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4510 Te hauora me te oranga o te Māori (Māori health and wellbeing) > 451017 Te oranga ā-pāpori, ā-hinengaro, ā-ahurea, ā-wairua o te Māori (Māori social, cultural, emotional and spiritual wellbeing) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 21 INDIGENOUS > 2103 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health > 210399 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2107 Te hauora (hauora Maori) (Maori health) > 210799 Te hauora kaore ano kia whakaroputia i wahi ke (Maori health not elsewhere classified) @ 50%
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