Our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Acknowledgement

beyondblue acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which our Head Office is based, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to all Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.


beyondblue recognises that much needs to be done to address depression, anxiety, suicide and related drug and alcohol problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Over time and across Australia, generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have experienced trauma, grief and loss. Psychological distress is high among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this is worsened by ongoing social and health factors.

beyondblue works to address discriminatory behavior and equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the knowledge and skills to maintain their own social emotional wellbeing. This includes recognising signs in people close to them, in order to prevent the development of a mental health condition.

In consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, beyondblue has developed a range of research, information, education and support strategies to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Find out more about our work


Projects and campaigns

beyondblue has developed and funded a range of projects in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations. A selection of these projects are listed below.

Invisible Discriminator

Several studies have demonstrated a link between experiences of racism and poorer mental health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including a greater risk of developing depression and anxiety, substance use and attempted suicide

beyondblue's national anti-discrimination campaign, Invisible Discriminator, highlights the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Proppa Deadly Project

The Proppa Deadly project was funded by beyondblue and managed by the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association. The project encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take action against depression and anxiety through the telling of their own stories across the community radio sector. 

Fifteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander radio stations participated by developing 65 segments which were broadcast over a period of 26 weeks in 2014.  Listen to the stories here:

​​Stories for Keeping Strong

From 2013 to 2015 beyondblue worked with Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and Alive and Kicking Goals: Young Aboriginal Women’s Suicide Prevention Program to produce culturally appropriate digital stories to support mental health literacy.

The objectives of the project was to equip people to recognise, talk about and help family and community members to eek professional support if experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

See the digital stories here:

​​Indigenous Mental Health Audit Tool

beyondblue funded the Menzies School of Health Research to develop a Mental Health Audit Tool. The audit tool software is available for primary health care staff who work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services. This tool enables health services to improve their management of mental health by systematically identifying patients with a major mental condition and auditing the services provided against current best practice. The Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care (One21Seventy) is currently working to support over 200 Aboriginal Health Services and has provided training to over 500 primary health care staff in the implementation of the audit tool.

beyondblue/RANZCP Indigenous website

With funding from beyondblue, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) developed a website to provide mental health professionals with information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health conditions. The site aims to increase knowledge and understanding to achieve better outcomes. Information can be accessed by mental health professionals as well as members of the general public. It is an interactive and flexible website with reading materials and seven training modules, including case studies that cover a range of mental heath conditions across the lifespan.


Research relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Research projects

beyondblue funds a variety of research which contributes to the understanding and knowledge of depression and anxiety in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and regularly evaluates its projects targeting racism.

Resources

beyondblue offers a free catalogue of resources for people, their partners, family and friends, and for health professionals who work in mental health.

More information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

beyondblue works to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the knowledge and skills to maintain their own social emotional wellbeing, and recognise signs in people close to them, in order to prevent the development of a mental health condition.

Read more information, advice and personal stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's experiences with depression, anxiety and suicide.

Find out more