- Grants to support mental health of new parents
- Yolngu Elders kick off COVID-19 vaccinations across Arnhem Land
- Healing the past project seeking participants
- Cultural connectedness can reduce suicide rates
- NDIS personalised budgets
- Health Check 2020
- Digital mental health resources
Grants to support mental health of new parents
The Morrison government is providing $16.6 million in grants to support the mental health and wellbeing of expectant and new parents through nine new projects.
It is estimated that up to 10% of women experience depression while pregnant, and one in seven women in the year after birth. Men can also experience perinatal mental illness, with approximately one in 10 expectant and new fathers experiencing depression, anxiety or other forms of emotional distress in the perinatal period.
Some of the grants under the mental health initiative include:
- $2.59 million for the University of Newcastle to deliver the SMS4dads digital prevention and early intervention service for fathers, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fathers, living in rural and remote regions.
- $750,000 for Possums for Mothers and Babies to deliver training and professional peer support for health professionals and new parents in rural communities.
- $250,000 for the Murdoch University Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity to produce health practitioner training materials and develop a mobile phone-based app version of the Baby Coming You Ready assessment and screening program for Aboriginal women.
You can read the full story and find out more about the other grants here.
Yolngu Elders kick off COVID-19 vaccinations across Arnhem Land
Miwatj Health are gearing up for a COVID-19 vaccination blitz across the remote northern region of Arnhem Land.
Terry Yumbulul, Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation’s Chief Culture Advisor and Head of Regionalisation, and CEO Eddie Mulholland, had their Pfizer vaccine in Gove last week.
They were joined by 10 Board Members of Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation and other local leaders who received their vaccine in an effort to encourage others in the community.
ABC Radio Darwin’s Jo Laverty spoke with Terry Yumbulul about his experience and whether other Yolngu people would follow suit.
You can listen to the ABC Radio Darwin On Breakfast broadcast with Jolene Laverty here.
Healing the past project seeking participants
Becoming a parent is exciting but it can be hard. Particularly for parents who have experienced difficulties in their own childhood, which can have long lasting effects on physical, social and emotional wellbeing. This can make the transition to parenthood difficult, causing distress and challenges to creating a nurturing environment for a new baby. On the flip side, growing research shows that becoming a parent offers a unique life-time opportunity to heal from this childhood hurt.
‘Healing the past by nurturing the future’ (video) is a community-based participatory research project which is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) parents to develop awareness and support strategies that could be offered during the perinatal period to support Aboriginal parents experiencing complex trauma.
The team are looking for participants for this important research project who are:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
- living in the NT, SA or Victoria, and
- are pregnant, have a partner who is pregnant or have a child (under 5 years in SA; or any age in NT or Vic).
Cultural connectedness can reduce suicide rates
An article published in the Medical Journal of Australia ‘Suicide rates for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: the influence of community level cultural connectedness’ examines associations between community cultural connectedness indicators and suicide mortality rates for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This retrospective mortality study looks at suicide deaths of people aged 10‒19 years recorded by the Queensland Suicide Register between 2001‒2015.
The age‐specific suicide rate was 21.1 deaths per 100,000 persons/year for First Nations young people and 5.0 deaths per 100,000 persons/year for non‐Indigenous young people. The rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people was higher in areas with low levels of cultural social capital (greater participation of community members in cultural events, ceremonies, organisations, and community activities) than in areas classified as having high levels, and also in communities with high levels of reported discrimination. Associations with proportions of Indigenous language speakers and area level socio‐economic resource levels were not statistically significant.
The study found that suicide mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Queensland were influenced by community level culturally specific risk and protective factors. The findings suggest that strategies for increasing community cultural connectedness at the community level and reducing institutional and personal discrimination could reduce suicide rates.
You can read the full article here.
NDIS personalised budgets
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) has released new papers on Personalised Budgets to give more information on the way they propose to build participant budgets in the future.
In 2020 they released a paper on proposed changes to the planning policy for Personalised Budgets and plan flexibility, and encouraged participants, families, carers and the wider sector to respond. The feedback was that people want fairer decisions. People also wanted the NDIS to be more transparent about how they worked out the funds in participants’ plans.
The Personalised Budgets papers give you more information on how the NDIS are developing the new budget model and how they propose budgets will be built.
There are three versions of the Personalised Budgets paper available for increased accessibility. They include:
- Personalised Budgets – technical information paper
- Personalised Budgets – information paper for participants, their families and carers
- Easy Read Guide – A new way to work out how much funding you receive in your NDIS plan
You can read more about the Personalised Budget paper on the NDIS website here.
Health Check 2020
‘Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap – Health Check 2020’
In 2018, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to a genuine, formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives to develop the Closing the Gap strategy for the next decade. Governments acknowledged the need for a respectful, collaborative approach with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities to achieve productive and sustainable outcomes.
To give effect to that commitment, the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap 2019-2029 (Partnership Agreement) was negotiated and agreed to by the Coalition of Peaks and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in March 2019. The Partnership Agreement provides an historic opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives to be heard and incorporated into policy and program dimensions across all levels of government. The Partnership Parties committed to an annual Health Check of the Partnership Agreement and agreed to the development and subsequent annual review of a Partnership Risk Register. The objective of the Health Check is to review the state of the Partnership Agreement against success indicators agreed by the Parties. This report gives an account of the first Health Check and includes a draft Risk Register.
This Health Check has found that the Partnership Agreement has been successful in achieving the coming together of the Coalition of Peaks and Governments in partnership to support the Parties’ decision to negotiate a new National Agreement.
You can view the full report here.
Digital mental health resources
There are a range of digital mental health resources available to support individuals, families, friends, and communities including:
- Beyond Blue
- MindSpot Clinic
- Stay Strong
- Deadly Tots App
- headspace Yarn Safe
- HitNet Community Hub
- iTalk Studios
- Positive Choices
- Proppa Deadly
- Yarning SafeNStrong