An overview of Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention in Australia
Martin, G., Lovelock, K. & Stevenson, B.
Indigenous Australians have a holistic conceptualisation of health, mental health and wellbeing, outlined by the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) framework. SEWB is affected by multiple, interconnected elements over the life course. Mental health and suicide prevention programs that are framed using SEWB recognise that emotional wellbeing is comprised of a balance between 7 domains of the body; mind and emotions; family and kinship; community; culture; Country; and spirituality and ancestors. There are important protective factors for mental health, wellbeing and suicide, which can serve as a source of strength – aiding recovery and resilience when faced with adversity. Protective factors include unique aspects of Indigenous culture, such as connection to land, culture, spirituality, ancestry, kinship networks, family and community. Many risk factors for mental ill health and suicide are disproportionately or wholly experienced by Indigenous Australians, such as removal from family; loss of culture; and impacts of the Stolen Generations.