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New funding for research to address Aboriginal mental health in culturally appropriate ways

Date posted: 25 May 2017

National Drug Research Institute Researcher, Dr Michael Wright, has received over $3 million in funding to lead two new projects aimed at transforming Western Australian (WA) mental health, and drug and alcohol services. The aim is to develop an operational model that provides culturally appropriate access for Aboriginal people.

Dr Wright has been awarded over $1 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Grant for a five year project, Looking Forward - Moving Forward.

The NHMRC project aims to lead statewide systemic improvements in mental health and drug and alcohol service accessibility and responsiveness for Aboriginal clients in WA.

NHMRC funding will be matched by funding from the project’s partners:

Western Australia has been awarded significant funding with the following organisations involved in the projects:

Through a process of co-design with the Aboriginal Elders and service provision partners, the new project aims to implement and evaluate a culturally secure systems change framework to alter the way in which mainstream mental health and drug and alcohol services work for and with Aboriginal people.

Dr Wright has also been awarded $386,000 by the West Australian Health Promotion Foundation, Healthway, to lead a three year Aboriginal youth mental health project, Building Bridges. The aim of this project is to develop a unique intervention that increases the engagement of Aboriginal young people with youth mental health services and builds better relationships between the Aboriginal community and services to sustain long-term partnerships.

Three mental health services for young people from government and non-government sectors will be involved: Headspace Midland, Youth Mental Health Services, WA Department of Health and Youth Focus. These agencies will work with Aboriginal Elders and young people, service providers, and policy and advocacy partners to co-design an intervention to support mental health and wellbeing in Aboriginal young people.

Source: Drug and Alcohol Research Connections


Last updated: 25 May 2017
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