NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO launches Strong Born videos to wrap up FASD Awareness Month

The NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health News is platform we use to showcase the important work being done in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, focusing on the work of NACCHO, NACCHO members and NACCHO affiliates.

We also share a curated selection of news stories that are of likely interest to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, broadly.

NACCHO launches Strong Born videos to wrap up FASD Awareness Month

Strong Born is a communications campaign designed to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the harms of drinking alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in rural and remote communities.

 NACCHO was successful in securing additional funding to expand the campaign nationally. As part of the expansion, existing resources will be customised for urban communities along with the creation of animated videos to help continue spreading the campaign’s strength-based messaging among community members.

 NACCHO is excited to launch the Strong Born animated videos as part of the communications awareness campaign this FASD Awareness Month.

 Working alongside Rhythm Creative, NACCHO has developed seven animated videos to join the campaign’s resources.

 The existing Community and Health Professional’s Booklets have been turned into animations along with five additional 30-second videos each targeted at a different audience to help create awareness of the invisible disability.

  • Community
  • Women
  • Men
  • Parents
  • General FASD Awareness video

 The videos can be found on the NACCHO YouTube channel.

 The customised Community Booklet which has been adapted for urban communities will be available on the NACCHO website (and sent to Urban ACCHOs) in the coming weeks.

New partnership to improve health outcomes across NSW North Coast

Six NSW North Coast Aboriginal Medical Services, in partnership with Healthy North Coast have launched an agreement that will place an increased focus on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the North Coast. The partnership seeks to progress the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2021-2031 vision whereby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enjoy long, healthy lives that are centred in culture, with access to services that are prevention-focused, culturally safe and responsive, equitable and free of racism.

The agreement will include the development of a joint North Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Needs Assessment, an Aboriginal specific Mental Health, Suicude Prevention and Alcohol and Other Drug community-controlled service model, a collaborative Integrated Team Care service model, and a Healthy North Coast preferred provider model. 

Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Scott Monaghan said, “This partnership has been years in the making, and it is exciting to see it come to fruition through aligning the vision of seven passionate and committed primary health care organisations.”

Werin Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Faye Adamson said the partnership “is an important step in advancing the work we all do in delivering high-quality local health services for Aboriginal people in our region.” 

Read more here.

Grafton Bulgarr Ngaru CEO Scott Monahan, Healthy North Coast CEO Monika Wheeler, Kempsey Durri CEO Steve Blunden, Coffs Harbour Galambila CEO Tracey Singleton, Port Macquarie Werin CEO Faye Adamson and Ballina Bullinah CEO Payden Samuelson. Image source: News of the Area.

Voice information released in 30 First Nations languages

First Nations Peoples whose first language is not English will be able to hear information about the Voice in their own language as the Uluru Dialogue releases translated information about the Voice in 30 First Nations languages. The new translations complement existing translations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Cobble Cobble woman and Uluru Dialogue Co-Chair Professor Megan Davis said it is critical First Nations Peoples have an opportunity to hear about the Voice in their own language. 

“We have worked with translation services in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to translate information about the referendum, what the Voice is and encourage people in these communities to vote. 

“This referendum is about bringing the nation together, and First Nations Peoples in remote communities across the country must have information in their own languages. 

“It’s critical we reach as many First Nations Peoples as possible to ensure they are making informed decisions about their vote,” Professor Davis said. 

To access the translations, visit here.

Voice information translations NT First Nations languages.

Managing ‘cultural load’ of the referendum

Gamilaroi man and psychologist Clinton Schultz says many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing concerning levels of psychological distress in the lead up to the referendum. Also the director of First Nations strategy at the Black Dog Institute, Dr Schultz says a big driver of stress in the lead up to the October 14 vote is the “cultural load” born by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This term refers to the invisible workload that falls on Indigenous people: things like educating non-Indigenous people, or being expected to speak for First Nations Australians. 

Burnout is a common consequence of cultural load. It can feel like exhaustion, the inability to perform basic tasks, emotional numbness or irritation over small things. Fiona Cornforth’s team at the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research at the Australian National University (ANU) are investigating how prevalent these emotions are, as part of a study into the psychological impacts of the referendum. They interviewed 84 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all different ages, across six locations in Australia, about their wellbeing. Many said walking non-Indigenous people through history was re-traumatising for them. 

“It’s like they’re constantly putting that Blackfella hat back on us in the sense of having to educate constantly, which then is traumatising… it takes a toll. Massive toll. Burnout,” said one interviewee. 

Tips to manage the ‘cultural load’ and look after wellbeing:

  • Staying connected to what gives you purpose; whether that’s culture, community or country, can be a source of healing.
  • Dr Schultz recommends yarning up — a respectful discussion in a culturally safe way — so you don’t bottle up negativity which can catch up with you in the long run.
  • Take a step back – It might be helpful to disengage from all media including television, news sites, Facebook and Instagram.

If you are feeling stressed, not sleeping well or have increased anxiety and depression you can seek immediate help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from:

Access NACCHO’s Voice Referendum: Social and Emotional Wellbeing Resources and Information here

Read the full ABC News article here.

Indigenous mental health providers shortlisted for Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards

Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre, Selectability (Palm Island) – Mahie Club, and 13YARN are finalists in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander awards category for the annual Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards. The three finalists have been selected for delivering culturally specific mental health related services, programs, projects and initiatives. 

One Mile Community Centre is nominated for their works to improve the education, support and connections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The organisation works with vulnerable people with challenges including domestic and family violence, mental illness, income access, and referrals to housing services. 

Selectability (Palm Island), Mahie Club has been nominated for providing culturally safe services and programs to improve the mental wellbeing of locals and to reduce stigma. Mahie Club was created in 2022 to allow people to get hands-on in the kitchen, whilst enjoying a cuppa and a yarn. 

13YARN Crisis Support Service, are the first national 24/7 crisis support line specifically for mob who are feeling overwhelmed or have difficulty coping. The winner will be announced Friday 13 October. 

Read the full National Indigenous Times article here.

Integrated Team Care Program a success

An evaluation of the Integrated Team Care Program for First Nations people, underpinned by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, has found the program by the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network is achieving its desired outcome of improving quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with complex chronic health conditions. The program aims to contribute to improving health outcomes through access to care coordination, multidisciplinary care, and support for self management. As well as improve access to culturally appropriate mainstream primary care providers (including general practice, allied health and specialists) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isladner people. 

The evaluation found patients highly valued the program and reported having their medical, physical, social, emotional and cultural needs met. Stakeholders reported the program supported patients to increase their ability to treat and manage their health conditions, increasing overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The program was also seen to be especially effective for patients living with diabetes. 

Read more here.

Members of the Primary Health Network’s First Nations Health Access Team. Image source: Gloucester Advocate.

Sector Jobs

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