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Annotated bibliography: Closing the gap in Indigenous mental health

Calma, T., Dudgeon, P., & Bray, A. (2017). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing and mental health. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 255-260.

This report identifies the large gap suffered by the Indigenous community as compared to non-Indigenous Australians. It discusses several reasons for this including the trauma of colonisation, racism, poverty, disconnection from their culture and healthcare practices that are not culturally appropriate. It emphasises that Indigenous mental health should be an approach that improves the social and emotional well-being (SEWB) of Indigenous Australians. This a more holistic and collaborative approach to health than the Western concept and it incorporates the many socio-economic factors that influence Aboriginal health with an emphasis on prevention. Community engagement, involvement and empowerment are essential components of any initiative, along with self-determination and a recognition of cultural differences.

Carey, T. A., Dudgeon, P., Hammond, S. W., Hirvonen, T., Kyrios, M., Roufeil, L., & Smith, P. (2017). The Australian Psychological Society’s apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 261-267.

This report examines the history of The Australian Psychology Society’s (APS) treatment of Aboriginal Australians. It discusses the lack of involvement of Indigenous Australians in policy and advisory roles and admits to a lack of articles in Australian Psychologist about improving Indigenous SEWB. It details the improvements it has made over the years including an Indigenous psychology group, education in culturally appropriate treatment and encouragement to Indigenous people to become psychologists. This progress culminated in an apology to the Indigenous peoples of Australian in 2016 that was well thought out, discussed, and received positive feedback from both Indigenous and professional groups. It acknowledges that it still has a way to go to bridge the gap.

Dudgeon, P., Bray, A., D’Costa, B., & Walker, R. (2017). Decolonising psychology: Validating social and emotional wellbeing. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 316-325.

This report examines each of the seven domains, which interconnect to maintain the SEWB of Indigenous Australians. These are mind and emotions, family and kinship, community, culture, Country and spirituality. It is important that these are incorporated into any program with the aim of improving the mental health of Aboriginals. It explains how disconnect from any of these domains can be detrimental to the mental health or SEWB of each individual.

Geia, L., Pearson, L., & Sweet, M. (2017). Narratives of Twitter as a platform for professional development, innovation, and advocacy. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 280-287.

This report examines how Twitter engagement can help to raise health professionals’ awareness of SEWB in Indigenous Australians. It utilises narrative methodology supplied by an Indigenous nurse-midwife, an Indigenous educator and a non-Indigenous journalist. Innovative platforms are developed on Twitter such as @IndigenousX which enable Indigenous people to reflect upon and discuss their SEWB. These accounts can then be followed by health professionals to gain an Indigenous perspective own health and SEWB. Indigenous people in turn benefit by having an arena for discussion and reflection. It identifies a gap in knowledge about whether psychologists are engaging in the sphere and if so are they benefitting from it?

Health, H. E., & Aboriginal. (2012). Closing the gap in a regional health service in NSW: a multistrategic approach to addressing individual and institutional racism. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin, 23(3-4), 63-67.

Hunter New England Health services the largest Aboriginal community in New South Wales. It identified problems with individual and institutional racism and culturally insensitive practices. The report details the steps it took to address these problems and thus reduce the gap in healthcare experienced by Aboriginal people. Partnerships were formed with Aboriginal groups and advice was sought from them. Three strategies were employed: staff and managerial training and education; leadership and consultation; negotiation and partnerships. It stresses the importance of ongoing commitment to address this organisational goal.

Otim, M., Kelaher, M., Anderson, I., & Doran, C. (2014). Priority setting in Indigenous health: assessing priority setting process and criteria that should guide the health system to improve Indigenous Australian health. International Journal for Equity in Health, 13(1), 1-12.

There is a large gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians, which the Australian Government has pledged to close. The objective of this study was to gauge the perceptions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous decision makers of priority setting in Indigenous healthcare. It identified an economic approach to priority setting was acceptable and useful in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services with the potential to utilise evidence in its implementation. This use of evidence will help to maximise health outcomes for Aboriginal people thus reducing the health care gap experienced by them.

Ralph, S., & Ryan, K. (2017). Addressing the mental health gap in working with Indigenous youth: Some considerations for non‐Indigenous psychologists working with Indigenous youth. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 288-298.

Indigenous youth between the ages of 15-24 are recognised as one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in Australia. The article reviews the current knowledge about the mental health needs and SEWB of this group. Psychological strategies such as the Access to Allied Psychological Services program are examined as to their relevance and effectiveness. It identifies that whilst Indigenous mental health workers are the ideal, but due to a lack of a skilled and available workforce who are able to deal with the complexity of needs in this client group, non-Indigenous psychologists need to be used. It does however confirm that the psychologist needs to be culturally aware of the needs of the youth in order to engage with them and successfully manage their treatment.

Smith, S., O’Grady, L., Cubillo, C., & Cavanagh, S. (2017). Using culturally appropriate approaches to the development of KidsMatter resources to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 299-305.

KidsMatter is an Australian initiative aimed at improving the mental health of young children in primary school and early childhood centres. A need for resources aimed at improving the SEWB of Aboriginal children was identified. The report details the development of this project. The project utilised participatory action, narrative therapy and critically reflective practice to define the Aboriginal perspective of SEWB. Aboriginal cultural consultants worked collaboratively with schools, health professionals and members of the Aboriginal community to develop culturally appropriate and effective resources. This resulted in a collection of culturally appropriate and professional learning tools to use in the promotion of SEWB for Aboriginal children.

Togni, S. J. (2017). The Uti Kulintjaku Project: The path to clear thinking. An evaluation of an innovative, Aboriginal‐Led approach to developing bi‐cultural understanding of mental health and wellbeing. Australian Psychologist, 52(4), 268-279.

Uti kulintjaku (UK) means to think and understand clearly and the objective of the project was to strengthen the understanding of mental health between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal health professionals. This project examined an innovative approach to bridging the gap between Western health care and traditional Indigenous care. It involved a group of senior Indigenous women working collaboratively with non-Indigenous health care professionals, all of whom had substantial experience in working in Indigenous communities. The aim was bridge any misunderstandings caused by language differences and improve the SEWB of the community. The woman who participated in the project have become empowered as a team and have learnt a lot about themselves, whilst increasing their self-confidence. The use of culture has reinvigorated cultural knowledge and several posters were developed which can be used in the future. Discussion in the community about mental health and finding new ways to tackle it and work with mental health services to enhance SEWB has increased. The tenets of the project of promoting healing and empowerment of individuals and groups were critical to the success of the project. It began as a language project but developed into increased shared understanding and it demonstrated the importance of traditional cultural methods such as story-telling and art in the healing process.

Postscript

These resources are all available to Healthy Options Australia employees, student and volunteers from the library database. Please email the library if you experience any problems in accessing them.

library@hoa.org.au

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July PD

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

Clough, A., Margolis, S., Miller, A., Shakeshaft, A., Doran, C., McDermott, R., & … West, C. (2017). Alcohol management plans in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australian communities in Queensland: community residents have experienced favourable impacts but also suffered unfavourable ones. BMC Public Health, 17(1), 1-14.

Degenhardt, L., Sara, G., McKetin, R., Roxburgh, A., Dobbins, T., Farrell, M., & … Hall, W. D. (2017). Crystalline methamphetamine use and methamphetamine‐related harms in Australia. Drug And Alcohol Review, 36(2), 160-170.

Jakobsen, H., Andersson, G., Havik, O. E., & Nordgreen, T. (2017). Guided Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for mild and moderate depression: A benchmarking study. Internet Interventions, 7(1), 1-8.

Tolou-Shams, M., Dauria, E., Conrad, S. M., Kemp, K., Johnson, S., & Brown, L. K. (2017). Outcomes of a family-based HIV prevention intervention for substance using juvenile offenders. Journal Of Substance Abuse Treatment, 77(1), 115-125.

 

Open Access Articles

 

 

Open access online journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Useful resources

NCETA’s Ice Training for Frontline Workers

A free comprehensive evidence based resource. NCETA continues to update and expand the resource, and Centre staff are working on a series of customised topics to address the professional development needs of specific workforces. These include the following customised topics which will be added to the resource in the next few months:

  • Working with families in which methamphetamine use is a problem
  • Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Communities
  • Recovery-focused support.

Drug and alcohol research connections

A joint publication of the collaborative network of alcohol and other drug research centres; National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW; National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University; and National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University.

e-Book of the month

Bhatia, S. C., Petty, F., & Gabel, T. (2017). Substance and Nonsubstance Related Addiction Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment. [S.l.]: Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Substance and Non substance Related Addiction Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment is an accessible handbook about the two main types of addiction disorders. It is divided into three sections which cover 1) the scientific underpinnings of addiction disorders (neurobiology, addiction neural reward pathways, genetic and psychosocial basis of addiction, screening and treatment), 2) information about substances commonly used by addicts (pharmacology, diagnostics and treatment considerations) and 3) current understandings of the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems (such as gambling), respectively. Key features: -covers both substance abuse and behavioral problems -uses a reader friendly format with a patient education handout style -includes key learning points listed in each chapter -includes clinical vignettes which outline brief history, evaluation, diagnostic considerations with successful pharmacological, psychological and social interventions -includes references in each chapter The handbook meets the information needs of medical students and professionals (family physicians, nurses, addiction therapists, psychiatry residents, and other health care professionals) interested in the primary care of patients afflicted with addiction disorders.Subjects:Substance abuse–Treatment

Free to download for all HOA staff from the EBSCO Host platform on work computers

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Alcohol and other drug treatment in prison

Presenter: Michael Doyle, University of Sydney

Thursday, 6 July 2017 @ 2pm-3pm

This Aboriginal-led PhD project investigated the experiences of 31 men (14 Aboriginal and 17 non-Aboriginal) of prison-based AoD treatment programs. The results and findings for this research will be reported in this presentation, which will also include findings from a systematic review of international peer-reviewed literature in prison-based AoD treatment research. Cost: free of charge

 Venue and full details

RSVP: ndriau@curtin.edu.au

 

Insight Queensland

Free training session at Biala Community Health Centre in Brisbane:

Culturally secure AOD practice featuring IRIS

This updated 2-day workshop aims to build cultural capacity when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who use substances. Designed for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers alike, the course promotes a culturally-secure AOD framework and approach to direct practice.

Participants will learn how to use the Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS) and associated brief intervention tools alongside other practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for use in everyday practice.

Dates 4-5/07/2017 9-4pm

Register here

Online induction modules are a prerequisite to some of the courses. To access and download them visit www.insightqld.org

Attend – conferences 

APSAD Scientific Alcohol and Drugs Conference, Melbourne, 12-15 November 2017.

No details on program as yet.

Registration between $540-1170 for the full conference, depnding when you register and your professional status

Write – presentations and papers

ATCA Conference –  Brisbane from 31 October to 3 November 2017.

Information will be posted on the ATCA website in the coming days, and registrations will be open this week.  There will be site visits to TCs on the Gold Coast (Goldbridge and Fairhaven), the Sunshine Coast (WHOS Najara) and Brisbane (Logan House and Moonyah) on Tuesday 31 November, followed by the conference program on Wednesday-Friday and concluding with interactive workshops on Friday afternoon (3 November).

A Call for Abstracts has now gone out and submissions close on Friday 25 August 2017 in the following themes:

ATCA recognises that not all innovation comes from research but from the need to tackle a persistent problem, using creativity, imagination and ingenuity. If you have a story, message or anecdote to share, then share your work and ideas with them. Conference Themes include:

  • TC practice: Partnerships for new ideas and new initiatives
  • Cultural partnerships: working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Mãori and Pasifika peoples
  • Working with Families: Family involvement in treatment, interventions for children affected by parental substance use and associated issues
  • Continuing care: Re-thinking community partnerships
  • Co-morbidity: Best practice for people with co-occurring AOD and mental health issues
  • Corrective services and coerced clients: Working collaboratively with our partners in the justice system
  • Attachment and Trauma: Interventions and recovery

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • The relevance of the abstract to the themes
  • The validity of the evidence on which the presentation is based
  • The implications for practitioners implementing the findings
  • The relevance of innovative programmes to other practitioners in the field.

Presenters are required to register for the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Conference. 

Presentation Types:

Oral Presentation: These will take place in chaired sessions and are 15 minutes in length plus 5 minutes question time. 

Poster display: poster presentations are visual displays used to communicate a message i.e. research findings, program highlights, etc. Poster presenters will be provided with maximum coverage through dedicated poster sessions during which time presenters are required to stand by their posters. This provides an intimate forum for the exchange of information by allowing more personal discussion between presenter and audience.  Posters may be in a traditional format, or as a  Powerpoint presentation on a continuous loop on the presenter’s own laptop.

Participatory workshop: There is the opportunity for half-day workshops on Friday afternoon (3 November) to encourage the interactive transfer of skills and practical solutions to common problems or specific themes.

Project Snapshot: Each project snapshot will be allocated 10-minute oral presentation time with the use of audio-visual equipment if desired and four minutes of questions.

Seminar: Several presenters are encouraged to submit a group of abstracts on a specific topic and share a 90-minute presentation time as they explore the topic in depth. These sessions will be led by a facilitator.

Yarning Circle: The Circle will be permanently accessible as a Cultural Space as well as having times for organised sessions during the conference gathering. These sessions will be led by a main presenter, or group of presenters, and be approximately one hour in duration with the opportunity for multiple speakers on given themes.

Yarning is an informal conversation that is culturally friendly and recognised by Aboriginal people as meaning to talk about something, someone or provide and receive information (Dawn Bessarab, 2012).  In the conference context, it is a place where all people can have a casual or deep conversation about something or anything. The truth is always spoken in a yarning circle. Yarning circles are designed so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute in a safe and respectful setting. The yarning circle will have a few main speakers to lead discussion however, all attendees are encouraged to participate in the conversation if they feel comfortable.

Submit your abstracts to atca@atca.com.au

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Alcohol and mental health podcast

Alcohol use disorder is often co-morbid with a variety of mental health conditions. It can be challenging for clinicians to tease out which of these conditions are primary, with alcohol being used as an attempt to alleviate symptoms, and which of these are secondary to the physiological and psychosocial impacts of alcohol itself.  (50 minutes duration)

Access here

Watch – videos

First time with a new pill or powder: This short video published back in 2013 from Global Drug Survey called “First time with a new pill or powder”, provides common sense harm reduction information for people who use or are planning to experiment with pills or powders as these substances can sometimes cause significant harm.

 

 


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Book of the month: March

We’ve decided to run a book of the month club in order to highlight our e-book collection. All the books featured are available to download and read on HOA computers from our library catalogue. If you’re having trouble accessing them please contact your librarian for assistance. To make it more like a real book club we would love comments on this post when you’ve read it or suggestions for future featured titles. This month’s book is a nice short one of 50 pages to ease you in gently:

Parental drug and alcohol use: resilience and transition amongst young people by Angus Bancroft et al (2004)

This is a short snappy book that examines the effects on children of growing up with parents or carers who misuse alcohol or other drugs from their perspective as young adults. It includes several narratives from the young people, which made it an interesting and insightful read. It also includes background material throughout the book written by the authors, which is easy to read and digest. The book concludes with a discussion which succinctly summarises the contents. It was interesting to note how diverse the narratives were whilst still maintaining a similar underlying thread. It was a very moving read, made more so by how optimistic many of the subjects remained despite their childhoods.