Mental health explained in culturally relevant terms 


Traditional stories and pictures are being used to help explain mental health problems in a new booklet for remote communities prepared by the Menzies School of Health Research.

Researchers developed the booklet as part of their strategies for explaining the causes, symptoms and treatments of people with mental health problems in remote Indigenous communities.

The booklet is aimed at mental health workers within the communities.

It uses simple language to talk about aspects of Aboriginal life and culture which can help those suffering from metal health problems ‘stay strong’.

MSHR researcher Tricia Nagel says the diagnosis and treatment of mental health is a crucial part of the total wellbeing of entire Indigenous communities. 

“The factors contributing to mental health are complex and no one issue can be viewed in isolation – drugs, violence, alcohol and social disadvantages are just some of the many factors,” Ms Nagel says.

“It is important that we communicate these complexities to individuals and Aboriginal communities in a way in which they can easily relate back to their lifestyle, culture and environment.”