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Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Suffer Higher Rates Of Mental Illness And Suicide Rate Than The Above National Average

2213 words - 9 pages

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are significantly exposed to new cultural, social environment and life style in the past few decades. They also affect from a colonisation process that destroyed their culture, tradition, language, politics and economy (Holland, Dudgeon & Milroy, 2013). Their life has been changed suddenly and has devastating effect on their mental and health well-being. This essay will elaborate the reasons including social and cultural factors contributing significantly higher rate of mental illness and suicidal behaviour and mental health plans that the government has adopted to prevent self-harm and increase mental awareness. There have been a few ...view middle of the document...

Walls, Hautala & Hurley (2014) confirmed that suicidal tendency is most common health related mental illness in young people. Also, Indigenous Australians are more than twice hospitalised for intentional self-harm as non-Indigenous people (Jamieson, Paradise & Gunthorpe et al., 2011).

If it has been focused on Aboriginal culture, it is precious and oldest culture in Australia and has been present since 45000 to 50000 years (Parker & Milroy, 2014). The Aboriginal people were relatively healthy, disease free, following their spiritual belief and highly valued their culture and traditions. The data indicate that Aboriginal people would be having good life if they lived like before in their social environment (Department of Health and Aging, 2013) (parker & Milroy, 2014). Suicide is relatively rare in Aboriginal community during pre-colonial times. It has become more prevalent after 1980s with different rates in geographical variation, in term of fluctuation in suicide rate in some remote areas, from year to year (DHA, 2013).
Colonisation results in the destruction of Aboriginal population and culture, significant destroy their community and the issues of stolen Generations. In addition, the history of forcibly separated children from parents, anxiety of destroying culture and continuing pressure of disadvantage are greatly impacted on their mental health and well-being (DHA, 2013). The suicide rate was twice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between the period of 2001-2010 than non-Indigenous people (Australian government, 2013) (DHA, 2013). Suicide rated for 4.2% of death in Aboriginal People in 2010 which was 2.6 times more than non-Indigenous Australians. Suicide rates were different in Aboriginal male aged from 25 to 29 and female aged from 20 to 24 accounted for 90.8 deaths and 21.8 deaths per 100000 respectively ( DHA, 2013). The main reason for higher rate of suicidal tendency in Aboriginal people is mental health diseases, substance abuse and stressful life events (Clifford, Doran, Tsey, 2013). For example, there has been a link of prolonged use substance and suffered mental disorder before they commit suicide. (DHA, 2013).
Stroud, Lookwood and Abbey (2014) indicated that Indigenous people are more likely not to go to mental health professional to seek advice compare to non-Indigenous people with rated 10.1% and 22.9% respectively. Prandl, Rooney and Bishop (2012) also outlined that Aboriginal women are not likely to seek medical advice such as antenatal services because they believe that it’s culturally inappropriate and unsafe services. Moreover, lack of transportation, cost, gender issue, and lack of trust, stigma, culture clashes and racism, difficulty in disclosing mental health problems are other barriers to seek mental health services in this community (Anton and Berwyn, 2014).
Aboriginal Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people are experienced highly racial discrimination to some...

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