‘Supporting Aboriginal Mental Health Workers’ research and report

ARDS was asked by the NT Primary Health Network to conduct research into their Aboriginal Mental Health Worker (AMHW) program.


About the project

In 2015, ARDS was asked by the NT Primary Health Network to conduct research into their Aboriginal Mental Health Worker (AMHW) program. The research involved extensive consultations with numerous AMHWs, Partners in Recovery facilitators and other stakeholders. The research explored highly sensitive cultural topics concerning mental health, as well as the systemic barriers impacting on AMHW’s ability to deliver effective care.

We utilised our comprehensive understanding of cultural differences in the delivery of health care, and our specialist expertise in communicating effectively in cross-cultural and multi-lingual contexts, in order to undertake this research sensitively and effectively.

The resultant Research Report addressed a gap in the literature by highlighting and prioritising the perspectives of Aboriginal workers, whose views have historically been sidelined from the planning of remote mental health services in northern Australia. It contained an overview of the perspectives and experiences of the mental health workers at the coalface of Aboriginal mental health care in remote communities, and a range of recommendations to improve the AMHW program.

The report presents extremely pertinent and practical recommendations and is highly valuable to our work locally as well as on a national level. We have already identified a number of practical applications that we will be able to collaborate on with the AMHW team within the identified recommendations.

Le Smith, Executive Manager Health Programs
Map of ARDS Aboriginal Cultural and Creative Services Northern Territory

© 2016 ARDS

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