Aboriginal people in Western Australian mental hospitals, 1903-1966

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Australian surveys show that Aboriginal people are currently nearly three times more likely to report high levels of psychological distress than non-Aboriginal people, are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health problems, and are more likely to die as a result of a mental health-related condition. But has this always been the case? While mental health service use, in particular hospital admission, is not always indicative of the incidence and prevalence of mental illness in a population, very little is known about Aboriginal Australian involvement with mental health services since white contact. This paper seeks to create a historical profile of Aboriginal admissions to public mental health services in an Australian jurisdiction in the first half of the twentieth century,
and to provide further insights into their lived experience from newspaper reports, government inquiries and oral histories.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhkx006
Pages (from-to)462-484
Number of pages23
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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