Australia

Stolen Generations fact sheets launched to help survivors get better care

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt at an event launch for fact sheets aimed at helping Stolen Generations survivors get better care Source: SBS News

Health professionals will be better equipped to treat survivors of the Stolen Generations with a new set of resources that addresses their key concerns.

Doctors, dentists and aged care workers will be better equipped to care for Stolen Generations survivors with a new set of resources.

The fact sheets were developed by the Healing Foundation in collaboration with Stolen Generations survivors and peak medical bodies, including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

They were launched by Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

Stolen Generations survivor and member of the Healing Foundation's reference group Geoff Cooper said the fact sheets addressed key issues encountered when dealing with health professionals.

"Little changes can make a big difference to how we feel when we walk in to a service," he said.

"Things like not making us talk about bad stuff that's happened to us if we don't want to, and explaining what you're going to do before you do it so we aren't caught off guard."

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt at an event launch for Stolen Generations fact sheets aimed at helping survivors get better care
Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt at an event launch for Stolen Generations fact sheets aimed at helping survivors get better care
SBS News

A recent analysis found there are more than 17,000 Stolen Generations survivors in Australia, and by 2023 all will be aged 50 or older and eligible for aged care.

The Healing Foundation chair Steve Larkin said interacting with health professionals can be difficult for survivors.

"Many Stolen Generations survivors experienced childhood trauma as a result of their forced removal from family, community, culture and language, and sometimes also as a result of abuse and racism experienced after their removal," he said.

"Everyday events can trigger the original trauma, particularly if a situation brings back the lack of control Stolen Generations survivors experienced when they were taken from their families."

Aged & Community Services Australia said the organisation was pleased to have contributed to the aged care resource.

“Through these resources, providers of aged care are able to better understand some of the trauma and triggers as well as the diversity of needs for Stolen Generations survivors, which must be considered in delivering the best quality care for all people,” CEO Patricia Sparrow said.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, visit lifeline.org.au or find an Aboriginal Medical Service here. Resources for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can be found at Headspace: Yarn Safe.

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