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New thinking about old ways: Cultural continuity for improved mental health of young Central Australian Aboriginal men

  • Description
    This project is investigating decades long problems relating to young Aboriginal men’s mental health in Central Australia. This mental health crisis is characterised by rising rates of male suicide, domestic and family violence, high incarceration rates in Northern Territory correctional facilities, substance misuse, unemployment, lack of education, English illiteracy/innumeracy, chronic morbidity and early mortality. This PhD research project is investigating the role of traditional knowledge acquisition and cultural continuity in enhancing mental health outcomes amongst the population. This includes (but not limited to) language fluency (and modern forms of literacy), understanding complex social structures and traditional governance (Anpernirrentye), traditional rules for social interaction, knowledge of traditional place-names, IEK etc. Additionally, it is argued that Ethnographic archives play a key role in nurturing knowledge transfer as they contain dense cultural materials that have yet to be used for the purposes of improving, identity, self esteem and resilience. Qualitative interviews have been conducted by the PhD Student in Arrernte, Anmatyerr, and English (where necessary) to correctly understand and ascertain community perspectives on mental ill-health in the region, and what the key knowledge competencies are for young men to acquire to have a strong knowledge-based identity that will enhance their feelings of wellbeing, self-esteem and mental health.
  • Regions in scope
    Remote Central Australia including, Leramba (Alherramp), Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), Yuendumu, Tjukurla, Ti Tree, Alice Springs
  • Funding entity
    Orygen Centre for Youth Mental Health (Stipend) and the Australian Postgraduate Award
  • Research/evaluation entity
    PhD student, University of Melbourne
  • Status
  • End date
  • Released to public
  • Categories
    Mental health, Social and emotional wellbeing, Suicide prevention