Reaching Australian Indigenous youth about mental health

Posted on November 1, 2013

"There's a lot of stigma around mental health, and also an inability to find answers and to seek early-prevention methods. So what I'm noticing is young people are experiencing all these issues but don't know where to go to get help." (flickr)

A group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths have come together to develop a new campaign to improve mental-health awareness among Indigenous youth.

They are working with the national youth mental-health foundation Headspace in attempt to spread community information.

"There's a lot of stigma around mental health, and also an inability to find answers and to seek early-prevention methods. So what I'm noticing is young people are experiencing all these issues but don't know where to go to get help."

Headspace chief executive Chris Tanti says seven per cent of people using its services have an Indigenous background but the organisation found it was not reaching enough youths.

Mr Tanti says Indigenous people may be reluctant to use Aboriginal-controlled health organisations for mental-health help out of fear their own family or friends could find out.

"The thing with mental health in Indigenous communities is that it's normalised. So a campaign about mental-health issues won't really be effective, because, in the average Indigenous family, there's going to be all of these things, and they've been grown up with, and they're intergenerational. There's so many factors that come into that. So rather than discussing them or trying to create an awareness of mental health, Indigenous communities are very aware of that. It's just creating that space to talk about it, and to act and to get help in a way that is going to get youth and young adults in our doors."

Click on the link below to read the full article


Category(s):Multicultural Concerns, Teenage Issues

Source material from SBS


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