Engaging with Indigenous Australians through appropriate and effective mental health services is an urgent imperative in Australia. The health status of Indigenous Australians lags unacceptably behind other Australians on almost every aspect of health, including mental health. For mental health, however, even the relevance of the concept as the basis of an effective praxis, has been questioned. In this chapter, we provide a historical context for rates of contemporary mental distress two to three times non-Indigenous Australian rates. Our analysis next addresses the role of pertinent social determinants, including racism, and details the profound effects of a yet-ongoing colonisation. We highlight the important role that trauma plays in the mental health of Indigenous Australians and situate mental health within the broader context of Indigenous community well-being. We conclude by suggesting strategies for mental health services to become more effective, culturally safe places with which Indigenous Australians would want to engage.
|Title of host publication||The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health|
|Editors||Ross G. White, David M.R. Orr, Sumeet Jain, Ursula M. Read|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Jan 2017|