This chapter explores current understandings of the determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) and its development. We show that the determinants of this wellbeing are multiple, interconnected, and develop and act across the life course from conception to late life, all of which influence the expression of positive or negative wellbeing. This chapter discusses those determinants that prompt, facilitate or constrain social and emotional wellbeing in all individuals. It then discusses a range of risk factors identified by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as specifically influencing or determining the development and expression of their wellbeing. Importantly, the chapter focuses on those determinants, or combination of determinants, that increase the likelihood of poor outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—the risk factors as well as those that promote or protect positive wellbeing, and the unique protective factors contained within Indigenous cultures and communities that serve as sources of strength and resilience. Finally, it shows that the risk and protective factors impacting on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people differ in important ways from mainstream concepts of ‘mental health’ and the experiences of other Australians.
|Title of host publication||Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice|
|Editors||N. Purdue, P. Dudgeon, R. Walker|
|Place of Publication||Canberra, ACT|
|Publisher||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|