Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)
1. The focus of this
discussion paper is on the improvement of mental health services to
Aboriginal people in
It is acknowledged that there are many closely related issues that arise and
deserve attention in the discussion of this issue, such as the relationships
between the mental health and child protection systems, and the mental
health and drug treatment systems. However, the scope of this paper has been
limited to ensure that recommendations for the improvement of services are
clear, achievable in the short to medium term, and of maximum benefit to
Aboriginal people experiencing mental health and social, emotional and
cultural wellbeing problems.
2. Every effort has been
made to reflect accurately the issues and strategies raised during
consultations. Sections 5 and 6 are summaries of the many days of
3. The recommendations for
the implementation of an improvement strategy are made from a statewide
perspective with the aim of addressing the developmental need of Koori
health and mental health services to improve their response to the mental
health and social, emotional and cultural wellbeing needs of Koori people.
4. The following
definitions apply in this discussion paper:
The term 'Aboriginal'
includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, while the term
'Koori' refers to the Aboriginal people who are the traditional caretakers
of the lands of south eastern Australia.
The term 'mental health
service' refers to aged, adult, child and adolescent, and psychiatric
disability support services.
5. While the importance of
Koori community controlled health services is emphasised throughout this
discussion paper, it is also assumed that mainstream mental health services
have a responsibility to provide culturally appropriate quality services to
Koori people. It is further acknowledged that Koori people are entitled to
choose whether they wish to access Koori specific services without
jeopardising their entitlement to mainstream services.