Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) has today released its first Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan, designed to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for local Aboriginal people and families.
Across NSW, Aboriginal people continue to experience higher rates of mental health and substance misuse issues than non-Aboriginal people. Experiences of racism, loss of identify and culture and the ongoing impacts of inter-generational trauma and colonialism are significant factors that continue to affect the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people and families.
SNSWLHD is committed to providing access to holistic and culturally appropriate healthcare, to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan has been developed to align with the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2025.
Damien Eggleton, District Director Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, says that SNSWLHD is very focused on delivering mental health care to Aboriginal communities in a respectful and appropriate way.
“The Plan reflects the knowledge, experiences and priorities of our local communities and the District’s commitment to providing culturally safe, trauma-informed, and better-connected care,” Mr Eggleton said.
“The Plan was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal mental health staff, in partnership with Aboriginal consumers and local Aboriginal health services such as Katungul.”
The launch of the Plan follows the success of the state-wide Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum hosted by SNSWLHD in Narooma last month. More than 150 Aboriginal mental health professionals met at the Narooma Golf Club on 17 and 18 May 2022 to collaborate, connect and share knowledge.