Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) has appointed Banyule Community Health to deliver psychological, social and emotional wellbeing strategies for Aboriginal communities in Melbourne’s inner north.
EMPHN’s $120,000 investment will provide Aboriginal people with, or at risk of, mild to moderate mental health issues with greater access to culturally appropriate services, delivered by an Aboriginal health worker.
EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte, said access to culturally appropriate, evidence based mental health services is vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in EMPHN’s catchment.
“This welcoming, safe and culturally appropriate service aims to help break down the stigma in Aboriginal communities around discussing mental health issues,” she said.
“The service will also be flexible in how it is delivered, and a client can receive help through cultural activities, group sessions, one-on-one sessions, sessions in their own home or a combination of these service options.”
“We want this service to be as accessible as possible for Aboriginal people, who have not traditionally accessed mental health services as readily as non-Indigenous Australians.”
Banyule Community Health CEO, Mick Geary, said responding to feedback from local Aboriginal people was crucial in the design of this support.
“Local Aboriginal people accessing our services have told us consistently that support needs to be delivered in a manner that understands culture and community,” he said.
“We look forward to providing a service that reflects this feedback and builds on the strengths of the community.”
This service is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the PHN Program.
EMPHN’s Aboriginal Health programs aim to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of wider efforts to close the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes.
EMPHN works across an area of 3,956 km² comprising a population of more than 1.5 million people. In EMPHN’s catchment there is also a prominent Indigenous Australian population of more than 5,000 people. www.emphn.org.au