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Essay On Mental Health A Health Issue Prevalent In Aboriginal Add in library

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Consider ‘mental health’ a health issue prevalent among Aboriginal communities in Australia. Using the health condition provided, write an essay, cover the areas below:

•    Explore the connection between Aboriginal history and the impact of colonisation and racism on health outcomes.

•    Apply social determinants of health framework to understand health and illness in relation to the health issue.

•    Discuss the implications of effective communication in improving health literacy and providing culturally safe care for Aboriginal people.


Explore the connection between Aboriginal history and the impact of colonization and racism on health outcomes

Various determinants draw the attention towards the importance of the inequalities in the healthcare that are mainly faced by the racial groups in Aboriginal, it’s important that the race, culture and the status of aboriginal should be contextualized for capturing accurately what is behind the variations in health outcomes (Brascoupé and Waters 2009). Culture and status of aboriginal are considered as social determinants of health as it also has a history of oppression and colonization. People of aboriginal also have to face the issues of racism (Brascoupé and Waters 2009).

In the year 2007, the World Health organization (WHO) on the Health social determinates has explored that racism is the structural determinant of the health, and it could be understood at the individual level, which means interpersonal discrimination. It’s noted that the interpersonal racism experiences might have the detriments effects on health (Brascoupé and Waters 2009). It is explored by the researchers that there are many negative effects of health outcome on the aboriginal people due to the racial groups, as this stress is related with the racial discrimination.

In this context, people from aboriginal examine culture with historical context, as it influences the access of opportunities for the community health (Kelaher, Ferdinand and Paradies 2011). The colonialism legacy has many distributed resources and is referred as the way that systematically gives benefit to the people of aboriginal. The history of aboriginal is related with the impact of racism on aboriginal people, as it direct impact the cultural safety, which is beyond the knowledge and understanding about addressing the power dynamics among the indigenous users of health service and basic no indigenous providers of healthcare that tries to root the broader power structure and influences the health of people from aboriginal (Kelaher, Ferdinand and Paradies 2011).


Apply social determinants of health framework to understand health and illness in relation to the health issue

In the recent years, there is a growing understanding about the significance of social determinates of health. This term mainly encompass not only social, but rather it also focuses on economic, political, environmental, as well as cultural determinants (Larson, Gilles, Howard and Coffin 2007). The economic and social conditions and its impact on the life of people could determine the illness risk and the actions taken for preventing it to become ill or treat the illness when it occurs. As per the WHO, the health social determinants are mainly responsible for the inequalities of health, which is unfair as well as avoidable differences in the status of health, which could be seen within the aboriginal (Larson, Gilles, Howard and Coffin 2007).

These crises are reflected within the enormous disparity in social determinants of health.  The social gradient in context of employment, housing, empowerment, education, and access to justice is directly associated with the disastrous outcome of health (Paradies and Cunningham 2009). They are directly connected with the ongoing impacts of substance abuse, negligence of child, family violence, and abuse. In aboriginal social issues are increasing.

It’s noted that economic inequality might be more important in social determinates of health in comparison to absolute poverty. As the gap is more between the rich and poor, health status is continuously declining (Paradies and Cunningham 2009). It’s also noted that social standing mainly run at twice of the risk related to serious illness as well as premature death. This is the impact, which is limited to the poor people, but extends all across the strata of the entire society. It’s noted that social and the psychological circumstances might create the long term stress (Paradies and Cunningham 2009). Regular anxiety, low self esteem, insecurity, lack of control over the work, and home life holds powerful impact on the health, mainly over the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Discuss the implication of effective communication in improving health literacy and providing culturally safe care for Aboriginal people.

Effective communication is required in improving the awareness about the health literacy and also making people aware about the cultural safety in aboriginal (Brown 2001). Through communication likelihood could be increased through setting up the mutual positive as well as beneficial relationship among the patients. It also enhances the confidence level and ownership along with self empowerment for the patients, in result of their capacity to understand about the information, treatment, prevention, diagnosis, and own health management (Brown 2001).

It also helps in reducing the misunderstanding and errors that are associated with the treatment and diagnosis in the healthcare. It also reduces the non-compliance medicals and even discharges it against the medical advice (Parker and Ben-Tovim 2002). It also enhances the professional and personal skills, and enhances the level of reputation and respect among the health practitioners and patients. Health communication is considered as the mass communication activity that mainly stress over improving the individual health (Parker and Ben-Tovim 2002). Both health communication and literacy can be viewed from different concepts like health communication can help in exchanging the health literacy in reference to language and culture.

Briefly outline the current initiatives by the government and describe any possible future solutions that may improve Indigenous health for mental health

The Policy of National mental Health 2008 offers vision for the system of mental health, and even enables recovery, and detects the mental illness of the patient and even ensures about the Aboriginal having the problems of mental illness for accessing the relevant treatment as well as support from community within the community (Andrulis and Brach 2007).

The Fourth Plan of National mental Health also guides the reforms of mental health, which even outlines the policies of mental health and explores the main actions of progress towards fulfilling the policy vision (Berkman, Davis and McCormack 2010). It suggests about the entire government approach and even acknowledges that various determinants of mental health create influence on health system. The government also enhances the indigenous workers capacity for supporting the health practitioners, nurses, counselors, health workers of aboriginal.



Brascoupé, S. and Waters, C. 2009. Cultural safety: Exploring the applicability of the concept of cultural safety to aboriginal health and community wellness. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 5(2), pp. 6-41.

Kelaher, M.A., Ferdinand, A. S. and Paradies, Y. 2011. Experiencing racism in health care: the mental health impacts for Victorian Aboriginal communities. Med J Aust, 1, pp. 44-47.

Larson, A., Gilles, M., Howard, P. J., and Coffin J. 2007. It’s enough to make you sick: The impact of racism on the health of Aboriginal Australians. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 31(4), pp. 322–29

Paradies, Y., and Cunningham, J. 2009. Experiences of racism among urban Indigenous Australians: Findings from the DRUID study. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32(3), pp. 548–73.

Brown, R. 2001. Australian Indigenous Mental Health. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 10, pp. 33-41.

Parker, R., and Ben-Tovim, D. I. 2002. A study of factors affecting suicide in Aboriginal and ‘other’ populations in the Top End of the Northern Territory through an audit of coronial records. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36, pp. 404-410.

Andrulis, D. P., and Brach, C. 2007. Integrating Literacy, Culture, and Language to Improve Health Care Quality for Diverse Populations. American Journal of Health Behaviour, 31(1), pp. 122-133.

Berkman, N. D., Davis, T. C., and McCormack, L. 2010. Health Literacy: What Is It? Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 15(2), pp. 9-19.


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