Authors: Dianna Wright
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Mabu Liyan Inpatient Unit Back To Country Program
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Dianna Wright is a young Aboriginal woman from Bidyadanga, a remote community in WA’s Kimberley Region. Dianna began her career in health as an Aboriginal Health Worker, in the early stages of her career she harnessed her passion and drive for Aboriginal Mental Health and went on to study nursing at Notre Dame University. Upon completion of her Bachelor in Nursing, Dianna completed the Pilot RN graduate program at Mabu Liyan, where she has gone on to become the Aboriginal Mental Health coordinator within the Mental Health unit.
Culture is central to the WA Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Framework. It states that health needs to be inclusive of Aboriginal needs as part of core business. The Back to Country Program (BTC) provides Kimberley Aboriginal people, in the Mabu Liyan inpatient Unit the opportunity to connect with culture and Country.
BTC activities take place on a weekly basis and are planned by the Aboriginal Mental Health Workers (AMHW). Activities take place on Country and include hunting, fishing and visiting places of cultural significance. The AMHW is the cultural navigator and navigates the balance between hospital protocols and client cultural needs.
The hospital is a foreign environment for many Aboriginal clients and does not promote their optimal function. BTC provides clients with cultural and spiritual healing and provides the appropriate environment for clinicians to perform culturally appropriate client assessments. BTC allows non-Aboriginal staff and patients gain exposure to Aboriginal culture and develop cultural awareness and appreciation.
The benefit of this program is that it provides clients with a sense of self-worth and removes the stigma of being a patient because they are on Country. Recognition of culture and the two-way learning between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants enhances cultural security.
Learning Objective 1: Understand how to develop culturally appropriate services into inpatient services without additional funding.
Learning Objective 2: Recognise how to enhance cultural security into a service.
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