- Mental health is a universal human right
- Self-Care Yarning Circles
- Why health organisations are voting Yes
- New digital mental health tool
- Voice would see more birthing on Country success stories
- Sector Jobs
The image in the feature tile is from Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services Facebook page.
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.
Mental health is a universal human right
Today, Monday 10 October is World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is “Mental health is a universal human right,” which is an opportunity to raise awareness and support the mental wellbeing of mob.
The Connection. Strength. Resilience. portal provides a set of resources aimed at supporting and reducing social and emotional harms to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the period prior and post the Voice Referendum.
The wellbeing resources and tools are freely available and have been developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to support mob, our communities, and our workforce to help keep you safe and well. Building Connection, Strength, Resilience is at the heart of these resources, which comprise factsheets, support websites, apps, posters, videos, and other critical tools.
For support, please contact an ACCHO near you. To find an ACCHO in your area, click here.
If you are feeling stressed, not sleeping well, or have increased anxiety and depression, you can seek help from:
- 13 Yarn (13 92 76)
- Brother-to-brother (1800 435 799)
- Lifeline (13 11 14)
- Kids helpline (1800 55 1800).
Connection. Strength. Resilience. | Voice Referendum: Social and Emotional Wellbeing Resources available here.
Self-Care Yarning Circles
NACCHO recognises that the next few weeks will be challenging for many of our members and staff. This Thursday 12 October from 3.30pm to 5pm AEDT is an opportunity for NACCHO members and affiliates, as well as all NACCHO staff, to discuss challenges and get insights into ways to look after your wellbeing during this time. The online Self-Care Yarning Circle will be hosted by two senior Aboriginal psychologists from the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association.
Spaces are capped at 25. To not miss out, sign up here.
There will be a second Self-Care Yarning Circle on Monday 23 October from 3.30pm to 5pm AEDT. Register here.
Why health organisations are voting Yes
At least 198 health and medical organisations are supporting a Yes vote in the referendum. Here is why:
NACCHO: “A voice and recognition of Indigenous Australians is critical if there is going to be long-term sustainable improvements to health outcomes for our peoples … Having worked in government as a senior executive for decades, I strongly believe having a voice written into the Australian constitution together with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is the best way to improve living conditions and health outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” – Pat Turner, CEO.
Australian Medical Association: “As Australia’s peak medical body, it has been incumbent on the AMA to work to address the significant gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We know that this requires a multi-faceted approach, including addressing the determinants of health … The AMA considers that this recognition presents a tangible opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association: “We wish to share publicly that AIPA supports the Voice to Parliament, understanding it to be the first step in developing a mechanism for decision-making partnerships between all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and all levels of government. AIPA supports the self determination of Australian First Nations peoples.”
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners: “The voice to parliament will help drive changes to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and address the inequity in our health system.” – Dr Nicole Higgins, president.
Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association: “I’m voting YES to give Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people the opportunity to influence the healthcare system and improve health outcomes. I’m voting YES so Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people will partner in decision-making processes that impact Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples wellbeing. I’m voting YES so Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children can flourish. I’m voting YES because I want to hold my head high, and proudly live in a country that recognises 65,000 years of Indigenous culture in the Constitution. I’m voting YES because the status quo is not acceptable.” – Donna Burns, CEO.
Beyond Blue: “Beyond Blue recognises that self-determination, which the Voice could help enhance, would give First Nations Peoples and communities a say in the policies that impact their lives, and this has the potential to support social and emotional wellbeing.”
Read a joint statement by more than 120 health and medical groups supporting the Voice here.
Read the Croakey Health media article Latest health updates on the Voice. Plus, how many health organisations are supporting a Yes vote? Here. Read the Guardian article Why we’re backing yes: organisations from law to health to education on their support for the Voice here.
New digital mental health tool
A new, interactive, mental health and wellbeing tool, the Digital Stay Strong Plan has been launched at Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) during World Mental Health Day. The interactive document is designed to improve culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The tool is aimed at strengthening connections, goal setting and self-management of mental wellbeing.
The tool was developed in response to community feedback and provides better access to digital mental health resources for schools, health, and support services. The Digital Stay Strong Plan launch was part of the Mental Health Week Seminar hosted by Menzies Stay Strong Mental Health team.
“Culturally safe resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can help us to support wellbeing through sharing stories.
“The Digital Stay Strong Plan is a step-by-step guide to a strengths-based approach to making change,” said Menzies School of Health Research Mental Health Research Lead, Professor Tricia Nagel.
Learn more here.
Voice would see more birthing on Country success stories
Aboriginal-led birthing on Country programs have allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to determine how and where they give birth. The result has dramatically improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies. Proud Narrunga Kaurna and health professional, Janine Mohamed writes: As a mother and a former nurse, I can’t think of a better illustration of how an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice enshrined in the constitution will improve the health and wellbeing of our peoples.
Our babies continue to be born underweight, and our women live on average eight years less than non-Indigenous women. Things are improving in this area, but too slowly to bridge the gap. The Close the Gap Campaign Report 2022 reported that within five years, the Meanjin (Brisbane) Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Birthing on Country program led to 50% less pre-term births for our babies, and dramatically reduced the number of babies born with low birth weights and admissions to neonatal units. This proves that better health outcomes can be achieved when mothers are provided culturally safe wraparound support throughout their pregnancy, and during and after their babies are born.
Aboriginal-led birthing on Country programs prove how important it is for mothers to feel trusted, safe, respected, have a voice and choice. These local successes show that a Voice will provide an opportunity to upscale and translate these success stories nationally.
Read the full article here.
Sector Jobs – you can see sector job listings on the NACCHO website here.
Advertising Jobs – to advertise a job vacancy click here to go to the NACCHO website current job listings webpage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a Post A Job form. You can complete this form with your job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.