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Stress, Allostatic Load and Mental Health in Indigenous Australians

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people have poor level of mental health status (Ketheesan, et al 2020). In this video I have learnt that these people have higher rates of suicides and mental illness. There are clinics and community settings which have been used for addressing their mental health issues. However, the health and social care workers have identified better approaches for the social and emotional well-being for these people. This is based on their culture and values which stresses deep connection with the nature. I have learnt that when these people are working together in bush fields, they are able to experience peace and tranquillity which helps them in dealing with their mental illness. Further, they have taken approaches for focussing on the ways of having good mental health and not on the mental illness. This video has confirmed my thoughts about these people related to their connections with their land, fields, plants and animals. This respect and connection with their mother nature create positive impact on their mental health.

The ATSI ways of knowing, being and doing is different from the western practices (Zubrzycki, Shipp, & Jones, 2017). Therefore, for generating an effective response it is necessary to incorporate their ways of knowing, being and doing. I can incorporate this in my practice by first knowing their cultures and respecting the ATSI people knowledge and beliefs about nature, health and people. This will allow me to render a culturally-safe care (Gatwiri, et al 2020). I also belief that there should be knowledge of the whole community so that care can be rendered in an integrated manner (West, et al 2016). This will help in getting improved outcomes for the mental health patients in the aboriginal community.

References for Social and Emotional Well-Being Approaches

Gatwiri, K., McPherson, L., Rotumah, D., Cameron, N., & Parmenter, N (2020). What are the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care?. Retrieved from https://cetc.org.au/app/uploads/2020/08/Research-Briefing-What-are-the-Needs-of-Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-children-and-young-people-in-care.pdf

Ketheesan, S., Rinaudo, M., Berger, M., Wenitong, M., Juster, R. P., McEwen, B. S., & Sarnyai, Z. (2020). Stress, allostatic load and mental health in Indigenous Australians. Stress, 1-10.

West, R., Gamble, J., Kelly, J., Milne, T., Duffy, E., & Sidebotham, M. (2016). Culturally capable and culturally safe: caseload care for Indigenous women by Indigenous midwifery students. Women and Birth29(6), 524-530.

Zubrzycki, J., Shipp, R., & Jones, V. (2017). Knowing, being, and doing: Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal collaboration in cancer services. Qualitative health research27(9), 1316-1329.

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