Withdrawn Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Nurturing cultural governance in mental health (#309)

Trish T Hill-Wall 1 , George G Hayden 1
  1. Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia

Nurturing Cultural Governance in mental health will focus on how the Centre for Aboriginal Studies is increasing the impact of the Indigenous workforce through an innovative and creative three year degree that has been underpinned with psychology, behavioural science, recovery, pharmacology, suicide ideation and crisis intervention, child development psychology, psychotherapy and clinical registration. This new degree will address the increase in young people’s suicidal ideology and the mental health manifestations that derive from deep sadness, chaos and continued trans-generational trauma. The degree nurtures the importance of cultural governance when treating Indigenous family members who are suffering with mental illness. Students undertaking the degree will be provided with practical applications and assessment using avatars; develop negotiation and intervention skills through a series of role playing scenarios to deal with acute mental health patients; dispense medication utilising robots for practice and assessment, and provide a series of presentations and projects that empower and instil a sense of confidence for students to work within their diverse communities. The degree has been based on ‘transformative education’ that has identified critical assessment, self-examination, planning a course of action, exploring options and ways of acting, addressing internal assumptions, reintegrating with society with other perspectives and building competence and self-confidence. The weave for transformative education for Indigenous students focuses on ways of thinking, cultural understanding, and heightened information skills; learning how to learn and embracing ways of communicating and collaborating with others to enhance the ability to work within both cultures. The degree identifies the importance of sustaining cultural governance, identified ‘ways of working’ and nurtured the Indigenous Terms of Reference through an Indigenous Framework (Minditj Kaart-Moorditj Kaart, 2012) that has been embedded throughout the degree and focuses on Nyungar people’s worldview–the Land (Boodja), the Elders, and the importance of family and kinship ties. The degree assists Indigenous students to understand the complexities of mental illness and enable the best care and treatment for family members and the wider Indigenous community through training and qualification.