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Table 2 The nine guiding principles with examples and their implication for practice (National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being 2017-2023) [7, 9, 10, 14]

From: A scoping review about social and emotional wellbeing programs and services targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Australia: understanding the principles guiding promising practice

Guiding principle Description Implications for practice Selected examples within the literature Selected literature references and initiatives (e.g. program/service/activities, practices and research)
1. Health as holistic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is viewed in a holistic context that encompasses mental health and physical, cultural and spiritual health. Land is central to wellbeing. Crucially, it must be understood that while the harmony of these interrelations is disrupted, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ill health will persist Health and well-being address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being; recognition that identity is central to health outcomes. Programs are multidisciplinary; embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives that restore harmony and balance rather than western biomedical models. Garvey 2008 (e.g., SEWB preventive services such as MindMatters, The Family Wellbeing)
Williamson et al. 2010 (a qualitative study at ACCHOs in Sydney about Aboriginal child
and adolescent mental health)
Southcombe et al. 2015 (Men’s Groups and Sheds)
Togni 2017 (The Uti Kulintjaku Project) (UK Project)
Skerrett et al. 2018 (United Health Education and Learning Program) (UHELP)
2. The right to self-determination Self-determination is central to the provision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership of program design, implementation and evaluation;
ACCHOs provide culturally safe places for service delivery.
Understand how and why a program works within a particular community or setting;
Build trusting and respectful relationships with clients; include lived experience councillors.
Bamblett et al. 2012 (e.g., The Cultural Yarn tool)
Day &Francisco 2013 (e.g., Strong Women, Strong Babies, Strong
Culture Program)
Isaacs et al. 2013 (Qualitative Description as a study design and qualitative study about mental health clients)
Whiteside et al. 2014 (The Family Wellbeing Empowerment program)
3. The need for cultural understanding Culturally valid understandings must shape the provision of services and must guide assessment, care and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health problems generally and mental health problems in particular Framework and practice guideline founded on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander notions of SEWB including body, mind and emotions, family and kinship, community, culture, country and spirituality;
Workforce training that includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander capacity building as well as culturally informed training for the broader workforce.
Reduce misdiagnosis due to overcrowding, hunger, grief and learning difficulties and other social issues must be addressed;
Engage and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners, traditional healers and healing experts as health consultants.
Baba et al. 2014 (a qualitative study with clients of AMS and ACCHS in Brisbane about self-identified health needs)
Dudgeon et al. 2017 (qualitative data analysis from the National Empowerment Project) (NEP)
4. The impact of history in trauma and loss It must be recognised that the experiences of trauma and loss, present since European invasion, are a direct outcome of the disruption to cultural wellbeing. Trauma and loss of this magnitude continue to have intergenerational effects. Trauma informed practice and professional learning within the workforce. Recognise family violence as a response to and reflection of historical and intergenerational trauma;
Impact of high levels of incarceration and interactions with the criminal justice system.
Day and Francisco 2013 (e.g., Strong Women, Strong Babies, Strong Culture Program)
Dudgeon and Holland 2018 (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Project) (ATSISPEP)
Southcombe et al. 2015 (Men’s Groups and Sheds)
Swan & Raphael, 1995 (e.g., Narrative Therapy, Family Therapy)
5. Recognition of human rights The human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be recognised and respected. Failure to respect these human rights constitutes continuous disruption to mental health (as against mental ill health). Human rights relevant to mental illness must be specifically addressed. Community and individual empowerment and capacity building. Understand the impact of family violence through family focused programs;
Include capacity building for effective connections to and relationships with social services.
Rees et al. 2004 (evaluation of an Indigenous empowerment program (Family Wellbeing Program), human rights framework)
Gibson 2018 (yarning about culturally responsive services, development of Indigenous Research Paradigm)
6. The impact of racism and stigma Racism, stigma, environmental adversity and social disadvantage constitute ongoing stressors and have negative impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and wellbeing Understanding and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander within communities, as well as broader community, understanding and knowledge to prevent stigma and shame Recognise cultural notions of mental health including social and emotional wellbeing Isaac et al. 2013 (Qualitative Description as a study design and qualitative study about mental health clients)
Swan & Raphael 1995 (Koori Kids Mental Health Network, Young People’s Mental Health)
Baba et al. 2014 (a qualitative study with clients of AMS and ACCHS in Brisbane about self-identified health needs)
7. Recognition of the centrality of kinship The centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and kinship must be recognised as well as the broader concepts of family and the bonds of reciprocal affection, responsibility and sharing. Social and emotional wellbeing established within a family and community focus including assessment and programs that encompasses family kinship networks. Acknowledgment of interconnectedness within family and community;
including environmental and spiritual connections.
Dudgeon et al. 2017 (qualitative data analysis from the National Empowerment Project) (NEP)
Williamson et al. 2010(a qualitative study at ACCHOs in Sydney about Aboriginal child
and adolescent mental health
8. Recognition of cultural diversity There is no single Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture or group, but numerous groupings, languages, kinships and tribes, as well as ways of living. Furthermore, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may currently live in urban, rural or remote settings, in urbanised, traditional or other lifestyles, and frequently move between these ways of living Culturally adaptive screening and assessment Develop locally defined, culturally safe primary health care. Davey et al. 2017 (Framework development)
Langham et al. 2017 (cross-sectional analysis of Indigenous records)
Janca et al. 2015 (Here and Now Aboriginal Assessment (HANAA)
Bamblett et al. 2012 (e.g.The Cultural Yarn tool)
Eley et al. 2007 (survey about mental health service needs)
Gibson 2018 (yarning about culturally responsive services, development of Indigenous Research Paradigm)
9. Recognition of Aboriginal strengths It must be recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have great strengths, creativity and endurance and a deep understanding of the relationships between human beings and their environment Promotion of resilience and self-control through culturally informed practices;
Support and develop pride, self-esteem, skills, creativity
Design Men’s and Women’s health, Youth Arts and Culture projects;
Capacity building that produces supportive networks;
Programs focus on community functioning, collective self-determination and cultural continuity.
Jersky 2016 (Ngala Nanga Mai;
We Dream)
Murphy et al. 2004 (Indigenous Youth Arts and Culture Project) (IYACP)
Dudgeon et al. 2017(qualitative data analysis from the National Empowerment Project) (NEP)
Tsey et al. 2007 (e.g. Family Wellbeing project, Cape York Substance Misuse Strategy, Indigenous Men’s Support Groups)
Sabbioni et al. 2018 (YouthLink)