Mental health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia during COVID-19

Pat Dudgeon, Joanna Alexi, Kate Derry, Tom Brideson, Tom Calma, Leilani Darwin, Paul Gray, Tanja Hirvonen, Rob McPhee, Helen Milroy, Jill Milroy, Donna Murray, Stewart Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In May 2020, an independent working party was convened to determine the mental health and well-being needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, in response to COVID-19. Thirty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and allies worked together in a two-month virtual collaboration process. Here, we provide the working party's five key recommendations and highlight the evidence supporting these proposals. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and governance must be prioritised to manage the COVID-19 recovery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. To mitigate long-term social and economic impacts of COVID-19 to Australian society, the historical underinvestment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be reconciled. Equitable, needs-based funding is required to support strengths-based, place-based initiatives that address the determinants of health. This includes workforce and infrastructure development and effective evaluation. There is a clear, informed pathway to health and healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander being enacted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and community organisations; it remains to be seen how these recommendations will be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-502
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Volume56
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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