• October 10 is World Mental Health Awareness Day (Pixabay (Public Domain))Source: Pixabay (Public Domain)
Kimina Andersen is a mental health researcher putting in the hard yards - She is looking into the prevalence of mental health issues in prisoners in Queensland.
Ross Turner

11 Oct 2016 - 4:21 PM  UPDATED 11 Oct 2016 - 4:29 PM

Ms Andersen's latest report, ‘Way Forward: Indigenous approach to wellbeing’ looks at how more mental health services need to be created for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland.

Her message is clear. She told NITV: “I’d love to see more young Indigenous people see the positives of being Indigenous.

“In my work, we celebrate being Indigenous. So often the negatives are portrayed on us. We know that we have problems; Murris and TSI’s know this; but we need to expose our young people to the good that comes with being Indigenous, this can help their wellbeing,” Ms Andersen says.

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Ms Andresen believes mental health awareness is paramount. She advocates for communities and policy makers to develop a greater understanding of people with mental health issues.

“Most people struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. Some solutions are needed to help people in positive ways and help people to de-mystify the problems that are frequently seen with mental health.”

Her studies have shown that the public system needs to develop a new response to our Indigenous communities’ needs.

“Not just a clinical response, but the services that can respond to specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, things such as cultural forms of care,” Ms Andersen explains.

On world Mental Health day, Ms Andersen reminds us “we need people to invest in us and our communities to build resilience. We need to empower our young, to strengthen families and this is a multi-systems approach.

“Until we can provide and empower our communities, we will still see people leaving our communities with problems.”

We want to deal with mental health issues: Prof Pat Dudgeon
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples want to address the stigma associated with mental health concerns and deal with the complicated range of suicide-related issues currently facing Indigenous populations, a mental health expert says.
It's time to stop and think about our mental health
Statistics show that Indigenous suicide rates have hit an an all time high. This shocking fact is but one reason why Indigenous Australia is being asked to stop and think about our mental health in October and build awareness within our families and communities.