Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative Northern Territory

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: Menzies School of Health Research

Year: 2007

Event: 2007 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: NT

Award level: Winner

Award category: Regional/Rural/Remote Programs

Abstract: The Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative in the Northern Territory (AIMHI NT) has developed a range of innovative multi media resources to promote indigenous mental health in collaboration with Aboriginal Mental Health Workers. They emphasize the importance of families, promote cultural identity, and highlight the strength and resilience of Indigenous people. The tools use pictures, spoken language and animated characters to get a simple message across – what keeps us strong, what takes our strength away, what happens when people get sick, and what helps us to get better. The novel resources have grown from partnerships between indigenous clinicians and researchers. They use the traditional approach of story telling to tell new narratives of stress and recovery. The tools enhance partnerships between service providers, and promote understanding of cultural difference. The resources and the training have stimulated international interest, and have been sought after by services across Australia. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative in the Northern Territory (AIMHI NT) is one location of a multi site NHMRC-funded project that aimed to improve indigenous mental health outcomes (2003-2008). It receives core funding from the NHMRC of $67,000 per year. The NT project, based in Darwin at Menzies School of Health Research, targets the Top End of the NT. It has a reference group, steering committee, stakeholder group and three key partners: Department of Health and Community Services (DHCS), Top End Division of General Practice (TEDGP), and the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) which each provide in kind support and additional funding. The project currently employs 3 part time and two full time employees. The many mental health promotion resources and publications developed in the course of the consultation and collaboration with stakeholders across the Top End have stimulated interest across Australia and overseas.

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