Resources (published elsewhere)

Mental Health First Aid guidelines for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Posted on: 9 April, 2008
Issue: Vol 8 No 2, April 2008 - June 2008
Related to Cultural ways Social and emotional wellbeing

MHFA Training and Research Program (2008)
Mental Health First Aid guidelines for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Melbourne: ORYGEN Research Centre

The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course was originally developed in 2002, following the model successfully applied to conventional first aid. This course trains members of the public to give early help to people developing a mental disorder (including depression and related disorders) and to give assistance in mental health crisis situations (such as assisting someone who is suicidal), and has been found successful in improving knowledge about mental health, and confidence in helping those developing a mental disorder or suffering mental health crises. The original material however was deemed inappropriate for particular cultural groups who have different ways of understanding health and mental illness. For this reason, national, culturally appropriate guidelines for the provision of MHFA to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were developed.

The guidelines aim to provide a consensus on how to approach MHFA for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a way that is culturally appropriate and mindful of their concept of health and wellbeing. The research involved the development of a survey, which included first aid action statements gleaned from a systematic search of lay and medical literatures. A panel of Indigenous experts in Aboriginal mental health, was then recruited to rate the action statements. Items that were rated as either essential or important, were endorsed as MHFA actions and used to draft the guideline documents.

View guidelines: cultural considerations (PDF – 194KB)
View guidelines: depression (PDF – 220KB)
View guidelines: psychosis (PDF – 215KB)
View guidelines: suicide (PDF – 239KB)

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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