Authors: Michael Wright, WA
Event: 1999 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health, INDIGENOUS,
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This presentation will provide an overview of the DYHSMHS of who we are what we do and our guiding philosophies.
The existence of our service could be explained by the following quote from the “Ways Forward” National Consultancy Report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health by Pat Swan and Beverley Raphael (1: 1995) released in 1995 it identified that:
Aboriginal people perceived mainstream mental health services as failing them, both in terms of cultural understanding and response, and repeatedly identified value of health and their spiritual and cultural beliefs, as well as the contexts of their lives.
Swan and Raphael further state (3:1995) Specialised mental health care must be provided to Aboriginal people in terms of need, equity and social justice. The provision of specialised care should be provided as Community Mental Health programs for Aboriginal people and should, as for the non-Aboriginal community, encompass a comprehensive mix of services and be provided for Aboriginal people in their own communities.
Australia is still regarded by many as the lucky country. It may be lucky for some but if you were to reflect on the following statistics it shows an opposite picture in terms of the demographic picture to the remainder of the population. Seventy percent of the Aboriginal population is currently under the age of 30 and only 5% of the Aboriginal population is over the age of 60, compare these results with the non-indigenous population and an opposite picture would be revealed. These demographic pictures are reflected only in the third world, in fact, comparable to a country like Bangladesh.