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IMH5002 Indigenous Australian Mental Health Today

Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : Centre for Australian Indigenous Knowledges


Centrally important to this course is the fact that culture has profound influences on the experience and presentation of mental disorder - how and whether symptoms are expressed and how they are understood. The available data indicate that, compared with non-Indigenous Australians, Indigenous Australians suffer a higher burden of emotional distress and possible mental illness, widely acknowledged to be related to the unique historical, cultural and social situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This perspective is taken into consideration in looking at the main types of mental disorders and problems experienced by Indigenous people. The difficulties of researching this field will be outlined. Newer tools such as those developed by Westerman specifically for use with Indigenous youth will be explored. The course also deals with implications of mental health problems experienced by Indigenous people, including the greater hospitalisations for most types of mental and behavioural disorders and greater contact with the criminal justice system. Some consideration is also given to mental health issues of other indigenous cultures and communities throughout the world.

Course offers

Semester Mode Campus
Semester 2, 2011 External