Authors: Pat Dudgeon, WA, Tom Calma, ACT and Tom Brideson, NSW
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Closing the Gap, 2015 Conference Book of Proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is significantly worse than that of other Australians across many indicators. The reasons for the gap are many but include the lack of culturally competent and safe services within the mental health system that balance clinical responses with culturally-informed responses including access to cultural healing. A primary response to this need is supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in those parts of the mental health system that work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration is a part of an international movement to cement Indigenous leadership in appropriate parts of mental health systems to improve the mental health of Indigenous peoples. It sets out principles for governments, professional bodies and other stakeholders to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in the Australian mental health system. It also sets out principles for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health leaders as they exercise culturally informed leadership within the mental health system. The Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration was launched by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSILMH) on the 27th of August 2015 at the TheMHS Conference in Canberra.