Addressing existing inequities in Indigenous mental health and wellbeing through transformative and decolonising research and practice

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Abstract

Aim: This paper discusses the current mental health and social and emotional wellbeing in Indigenous Australian mental health and wellbeing, the gaps in research, the need for transformative and decolonising research and practice, and the opportunities and recommendations to address existing mental health inequities. Method: This paper reviews key mental health and social and wellbeing policy documents and frameworks, and examines relevant literature documenting current decolonising strategies to improve programs, services and practice. It also draws on the key findings of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) and Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing research projects. In addition this work builds on the substantial work of the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) which outlines a range of solutions to reduce the causes, prevalence, and impact of Indigenous suicide by identifying, translating, and promoting the adoption of evidenced based best practice in Indigenous specific suicide prevention activities. Discussion and Conclusion: This paper details the challenges as well as the promise and potential of engaging in transformative and decolonising research and practice to address the existing health service inequities. Acknowledging and addressing these health inequities is an urgent and critical task given the current COVID-19 pandemic and potential for further increasing the adverse mental health and wellbeing gap for Indigenous Australians.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Health Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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