Aboriginal mental health

Aboriginal mental health

Aboriginal mental health

Suicide was the fifth leading cause of death among Indigenous Australians in 2020, accounting for 5.5% of all deaths. It was also the leading cause of death for Indigenous children aged 5–17.

The rate of Indigenous Australians reporting ‘high or very high’ levels of psychological distress were 2.3 times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians. More severely, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, who are often marginalised within society, are almost twice as likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous people.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, emotional well-being is a holistic concept that includes mental health but also the importance of connection to land, culture, community, ancestry and spirituality. Therefore, the approach to aboriginal mental health needs to be different to non-Indigenous people.

Breakthrough’s aim is to help develop a better understanding of effective therapeutic practices with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. With such a diverse population, many of whom live in remote communities, local insights are required for local needs.