The Flinders Wellbeing Aboriginal Project team has received $750,000 from the Australian Government to develop and trial co-designed, trauma-informed cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to better manage anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among Aboriginal people.
In the past, the team has successfully applied culturally safe CBT interventions to treat addictions among Aboriginal people. This new project will provide the opportunity to extend the practice to other common mental health issues experienced by people living in the northern, western or southern regions of Adelaide.
The team’s experience has demonstrated the importance of applying a partnered approach, involving consumers and cross-cultural practitioners. This allows the integration of cultural and clinical input, improving engagement and outcomes for Aboriginal people.
The initiative also recognises the importance of flexibility in meeting the needs of Aboriginal people. Each person will have access to up to 20 individual therapy sessions and the group programs, to help reinforce positive changes in a social space. Participants can opt to meet at the Flinders Wellbeing Centre in Salisbury, in community spaces or in their own home.
Experience has demonstrated outreach is essential to consistent engagement with Aboriginal people, significantly reducing barriers to accessing evidenced-informed health care.