Discuss about the Indigenous Health Perspective in Australia.
Indigenous Health Perspective – An Introduction
Indigenous and aboriginal people remained as the highly disadvantaged groups in the Australian society. Health disparities in treating various disease conditions including renal disease, cardiovascular abnormality and cancer resulted in the establishment of mental complications among the indigenous individuals (Durey & Thompson, 2012). The pattern of racism experienced by the aboriginal people resulted in the elevation of their disease burden and reduction in the wellness outcomes. The pattern of interpersonal racism resulted in the establishment of mistrust between the aboriginal community and established sections of the Australian society. The practice of racism among the nurse professionals continues to deteriorate the accessibility as well as the quality of healthcare interventions for the Indigenous Australian population (Durey & Thompson, 2012). Social gradients of health deterioration of indigenous natives include the pattern of discrimination and inequitable administration of healthcare interventions. The exclusion of the aboriginal people from the economic, political and social life events of the established Australians resulted in the development of their cognitive decline and pattern of depressive episodes (Shepherd, et al., 2012). The cultural and social marginalization of the aboriginal people resulted in their psychosocial degradation across the community environment. The social circumstances of various well-known aboriginal personalities have impacted their health statuses at some point of time in their lives. Nova Peris, a well-known politician and sports person is an aboriginal native who experienced various societal inequalities and misconduct by the established Australian society at various stages in her athletic and political tenure (Nova, 2003). The pattern of racism experienced by this renowned personality impacted her mental health and predisposed her towards the development of psychosocial manifestations.
Racial Discrimination and Mental Health
Nova experienced racial discrimination at the age of 17 during the stage of her career development in Queensland. Evidence-based research literature describes the pattern of racial discrimination as a greatest social health determinant that considerably deteriorates the psychosocial outcomes of the underprivileged and impoverished individuals (Currie, et al., 2012). Resultantly, they experience mental instability and deterioration in the level of their self-esteem and confidence. This inequality across the community environment adversely impacts the pattern of healthcare and associated wellness outcomes of the aboriginal natives (Vukic, et al., 2012). Therefore, the promotion of indigenous health nursing is highly warranted in the Australian healthcare sector with the objective of eliminating the health inequalities faced by the aboriginal natives across the community environment. Nova infrequently experienced anxiety followed by hyperventilation while participating in the hockey tournaments and practice sessions (Nova, 2003). She attended various counselling sessions undertaken by her psychologist in the context of improving the state of her mental and psychosocial health. The state of Nova’s hyperventilation and anxiety developed under the influence of racial issues, interpersonal conflicts and absence of social support. The research study by (Kisely, et al., 2017) reveals the prevalence of panic disorders, generalized anxiety and depression among the indigenous natives. They also experience elevated predisposition of acquiring post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychiatric health of the aboriginal natives is determined by the interaction of their socio-cultural, economic, educational and biological factors (Kisely, et al., 2017). In Nova’s case, her socio-cultural factors played a biggest role in impacting the state of her mental well-being. The pattern of social-phobia and bipolar disorders is prevalently experienced by the aboriginal population (Black, et al., 2017). This phobia arises because of the social threats and inequality practiced by the established sections of the Australian Society against the indigenous natives. Resultantly, the aboriginal people undergo mood fluctuations and suicidal ideation that adversely influence the state of their psychosocial development across the community environment.
The Aboriginal Circumstances
Nova experienced the prevalence of domestic violence and alcoholism in the aboriginal society and considered these factors as the preliminary causes of their social deterioration (Nova, 2003). The events of this violence since childhood impacted her psychosocial and mental health and persuaded her to utilize these adverse experiences in terms of brining a major social reform in the aboriginal society. Evidence-based research literature correlates the utilization of alcohol with the events of crime, violence and traumatic episodes in the aboriginal society. The pattern of alcohol abuse among the aboriginal natives arises because of the mental and social adversities as well as economic instability experienced by them across the community environment. The feeling of lack of accomplishment as well as deterioration leads to the establishment of depression that further enforces the aboriginal people towards acquiring alcoholism. Resultantly, the aboriginal natives indulge themselves in the episodes of domestic and family violence and criminal activities against children and women (Ramamoorthi, et al., 2014). The jeopardized conduct by the established sections of the Australian Society against the indigenous people maximizes the intensity of their social trauma and hampers the pattern of their psychosocial, economic as well as moral development against the community environment (Ramamoorthi, et al., 2014). Australian conservative politics impacted psychological morale of Nova and forced her to rethink regarding the development of reinforcement strategies warranted for reducing the state of inequality experienced by the aboriginal natives (Nova, 2003). The pattern of conservative politics in Australia continued to advocate the colonization of aboriginal natives under restricted geographical confinements (Sherwood, 2013). Resultantly, the aboriginals experienced the state of social isolation that adversely impacted their political, social, psychological and mental development. The regular interaction of the aboriginal natives with the established sections of the Australian society is highly essential for their psychological, educational as well as economic development in the longer term. The Australian federal government therefore, requires undertaking strict measures for establishing an environment that could ascertain the equitable treatment of aboriginal people in comparison to the well-to-do sections of Australian society across the community environment. Nova advocated the requirement of developing cross-cultural interventions in the context of improving the health and wellness of Aboriginal Australians (Nova, 2003). These interventions also assist in reducing the pattern of racial discrimination and associated complications in the indigenous society. Cross-cultural approaches that require implementation for the aboriginal community effectively accomplish their culture-specific requirements across the community environment (Shahid, et al., 2013). The cross-cultural steps require the establishment of therapeutic communication between healthcare professionals and underprivileged aboriginals with the objective of elevating their dignity and morale. These evidence-based strategies effectively substantiate the consistent improvement in the psychological, physical and social well-being of the aboriginal natives. Nova supported these evidence-based strategies throughout her political and athletic tenure and proved to be an iconic statesperson for the aboriginal population.
The biography of Nova peris evidentially explains the social and psychological determinants of the mental health of Aboriginal Australians. The state of psychosocial isolation considerably impacts the mental well-being of indigenous individuals and elevates their scope of health and wellness deterioration. The health inequalities experienced by the aboriginal people pose numerous challenges for them in terms of acquiring a healthy psychosocial and physical state across the community environment. They remain highly inaccessible to the healthcare services and medical professionals also refrain themselves in equitably administering medical interventions in concordance with the individualized requirements of the ailing aboriginals. Experiences of Nova Peris strongly advocate the requirement of bringing major reformation in the Australian societal structure with the objective of developing transparency in the Australian healthcare system. The development of an unbiased healthcare system under the supervision of the Australian federal government is highly required for improving the state of health and wellness of the aboriginal community. Indeed, the established sections of the Australian society need to take ownership for the establishment of health and equality across the indigenous community while eliminating the practice of racial discrimination and biased healthcare approaches. The establishment of health equity for indigenous islanders is greatly warranted for their resilience as well as the enhancement of mental health outcomes.
Black, E., Kisely, S., Alichniewicz , K. & Toombs , M., 2017. Mood and anxiety disorders in Australia and New Zealand's indigenous populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, pp. 128-138.
Currie , C. L. et al., 2012. Racial discrimination experienced by aboriginal university students in Canada. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 57(10), pp. 617-625.
Durey, A. & Thompson, S. C., 2012. Reducing the health disparities of Indigenous Australians: time to change focus. BMC Health Services Research.
Kisely, S. et al., 2017. The prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in indigenous people of the Americas: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, pp. 137-152.
Nova, P., 2003. Nova Peris with Ian Heads. [Online]
Available at: https://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/peris-nova-17821
[Accessed 06 08 2017].
Ramamoorthi, R., Jayaraj, R., Notaras, L. & Thomas, M., 2014. Alcohol-Related Violence among the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of the Northern Territory: Prioritizing an Agenda for Prevention-Narrative Review Article. Iraninan Journal of Public Health, 43(5), pp. 539-544.
Shahid, S. et al., 2013. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers. BMC Health Services Research.
Shepherd, C. C. J., Li, J. & Zubrick, S. R., 2012. Social Gradients in the Health of Indigenous Australians. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), pp. 107-117.
Sherwood , J., 2013. Colonisation - it's bad for your health: the context of Aboriginal health. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), pp. 28-40.
Vukic, A., Jesty, C., Mathews, S. V. & Etowa, J., 2012. Understanding Race and Racism in Nursing: Insights from Aboriginal Nurses. ISRN Nursing.