“My broader relationships with the Aboriginal community helped me to heal. And the friendships I built, and families I became a part of, have been a huge support.”
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the strength of personal identity is often connected to culture, country and family.
Like all of us, however, you can have problems with everyday things like money, jobs and housing that can impact your social and emotional wellbeing. On top of that, you might have to deal with racism, discrimination, bullying, gender-phobia, and social inequality.
There are some stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples below. Maybe something like this is happening to you, or to someone you know. Troubles like these can affect how you are feeling, and that can also affect your family and your community or mob.
If you are not feeling as good as you know you should be, or you and your family/ friends aren’t coping with the sickness or death of someone close, then you might need to yarn with someone. You can take someone with you to join in the yarn.
You can yarn to someone at the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical or health service, or on the phone if you like, with the 24-hour helpline. You can also use online chat services. There are some suggested resources below.
It’s important to look after yourself and make healthy choices that can help you to feel good. There are ideas on keeping well in the meaningful life section on this website.
A closer look
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples take a holistic view of mental health
Connections strengthen social and emotional wellbeing
Specialised services can help rural remote and regional people
Intergenerational trauma can affect social and emotional wellbeing
Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience racism, discrimination and bullying
Discrimination against Indigenous Australians is common
It's hard on our mob. It relates to the justice system, to incarceration, to everything. If all you've ever known or been shown is alcoholism, violence, drugs, jail, then how do we expect the next generation to come through and be anything else but that?
I've lost members of my family to suicide, and my sister also struggles with mental illness. The strength that we get from our people is so important. It’s pretty tough when you feel like you’re the only one out there feeling this way.
I'm heavily involved in my local Indigenous community here in Gippsland. It's a strong community of Kurnai people. A community gives you structure and it helps you feel better by helping others too.
My daughter is 10 and she has an Aboriginal psychologist because I'm teaching her that it's okay to talk to someone and to understand that life is like a roller coaster. We go up. We go down.