Living on the edge: social and emotional wellbeing and risk and protective factors for serious psychological distress among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people


The paper addresses the many physical and mental health consequences of systemic discrimination and discusses current determinants of health, recognised as reflecting social, political and economic inequalities. Illuminating the high incidents of non-specific psychological stress reported by Indigenous Australians, the report recommends the development of measures and monitors for psychological distress which may contribute towards explanatory frameworks for understanding these acknowledged inequalities. The paper also introduces epidemiological data relevant to social and emotional wellbeing factors, before addressing the necessity for culturally appropriate services to meet emotional and social wellbeing needs of Indigenous Australians. The report offers six recommendations for the improvement of emotional and physical wellbeing outcomes and related research.

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This work has been published as part of the activities of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH). The CRCAH is a collaborative partnership partly funded by the Cooperative Research Centre Program of the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. This work is joint copyright between the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association and the CRCAH. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes, or by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community organisations subject to an acknowledgment of the source and no commercial use or sale. Reproduction for other purposes or by other organisations requires the written permission of the copyright holder(s).