Aboriginal Elders, social and emotional wellbeing - and the arts

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Alliance’s Supplementary Submission to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Services and Programmes discusses possible ways to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the views of older Aboriginal people outlined in The Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm & Youth Suicide, and through arts in health activities.

Given the link between Aboriginal Elders’ expertise in using their knowledge bases and cultural traditions to help build young people’s resilience, the Alliance believes that governments should support and make greater use of the expertise of Aboriginal Elders in securing and improving the social and emotional wellbeing of young Aboriginal people.

Agencies working in the mental health field should use the demonstrated and significant social, therapeutic and economic benefits of arts in health projects. Such activity can be particularly beneficial in Australia’s rural and remote communities.

For more information about the Alliance’s position on mental health in rural and remote communities, see the earlier Submission to the National Mental Health Commission Review of Mental Health Services and Programmes.

The National Mental Health Commission is due to report to government on the Review of Mental Health Services Programmes by 30 November 2014.