Way Forward: An Indigenous approach to wellbeing

way forward is an Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander mental health and addictions project and we are tasked with improving mental health and addiction outcomes for our community members in Metro North and Metro South areas of Brisbane we have three priorities that we are tasked with addressing and those are looking at the governance arrangements for our indigenous mental health and addictions workforce we're also looking at increasing the cultural capability of mental health services and how they're delivered in Metro North and Metro South so our third priority is about how do we utilize those relationships with the non-government sector the IOI's and the quakes to ensure that we have a more integrated and culturally sensitive pathway into and out of mental health and addiction services in Queensland health ultimately we believe culture is is an integral part in getting better health outcomes but we need services and treatment systems that recognize the importance of that as well we can understand the client a lot better and they can open up to us about their the problems that they're having we very rarely have clients that present voluntary there's always a crisis or a traumatic event that's brought them into a hospital and just having an Aboriginal person there when they come into a hospital they know that you know they can then receive the treatment that they need the clinicians and the nurses and the doctors look forward for your cultural input because not a lot of these services know about our holistic approach of services outside in the in the community so there that's really important for um our people because they they've gone through a lot of trauma and they need healing our community members tend to react more positively when they get to speak to another indigenous person who can translate and interpret you know what is meaningful for them and their community and as a result has a you know much more holistic approach to meeting their needs and the needs of their family and ultimately their community thank you all for being here today we have a number of wonderful speakers here at the way forward symposium we are walking we are talking we are gathering on Aboriginal country so it is very important that we seek permission from the traditional owners to speak here on their behalf so the symposium probably had a few purposes the goal of that was to really celebrate being indigenous in a Queensland health workforce in a Queensland health context and demonstrating that there are lots of positives that come with working in indigenous health and I wanted to demonstrate that through our workforce and display you know some of the great work that our our workforce were doing I'm inspired by a strengths-based approach that makes a significant contribution to all of human mankind and all the research which supports my conviction that solutions depend on the ability of all of us to learn and teach and being respectful of both cultures blackfellas understand blow follows it's that simple you know I know I speaking out a lot on a lot of issues and to be able to fix our problems ourselves that's when we will start moving forward as a huge movement as a group in our commitments are talking up culture within indigenous health we must be equally committed and brave enough to talk up race two for non-indigenous people you also need to be equally committed to interrogating your own racialized imaginings of Aboriginal culture as you are with interrogating the cultural traditions of Aboriginal people I've got to present the optimistic outlook because I really really do believe there's something really good out there for us we're going to get there but sometimes things like this just knock you around a bit so I think all of you guys who work in the space have really got to look after yourself what is really clear from a symposium and what is clear from the current evaluation and just from the work we've done today we need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce members to be available to work with not just our community members as they come into services but with the non-indigenous clinicians that work within our services as well because we genuinely believe that if we can provide highly skilled culturally informed empowered Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander health worker to work within the current teams that exist then that will have an impact on the practice of non-indigenous clinicians and just become a bit more flexible and responsive to our needs it's just good that you know that that person we've followed them up from being dition into hospital they're being discharged we've been following them up for a few months and now that we've referred them on to their own GP and they're being followed up with the aboriginal medical center or their own GP and then they're not coming back into the service we're discharged and for good from the service that's very rewarding being able to make a difference for our family which is really what we're doing and our future generations so that they don't have to be further traumatized by the systems and approaches in the community you know is a really good thing and I think that's is cause to you know be excited and celebrate you

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