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Collaborating with a regional community for optimal aboriginal perinatal mental health, parenting, cultural wellbeing and resilience

Marriott, R.ORCID: 0000-0002-6037-2565 and Kapetas, J. (2013) Collaborating with a regional community for optimal aboriginal perinatal mental health, parenting, cultural wellbeing and resilience. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22 (Supp. 1). p. 18.

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INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND This research project investigates the support for young Aboriginal families experiencing issues that threaten mental health. Of particular interest is the level of community support to be mobilised for young mothers with perinatal depression.

AIMS/OBJECTIVES Few health services offer education for young Aboriginal parents to strengthen parenting skills and knowledge while building cultural resilience. Neither is the importance of post-partum kinship seen as a preventative factor in young Aboriginal parents (Dietch et al., 2010). This project is exploring the importance of education, family and kinship for resilience during pregnancy and early parenthood.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION This three-year project is funded by the ARC and uses a participatory method for collaboration with Aboriginal people and service providers in the study locations. The researchers are evaluating outcomes through the Most Significant Change technique.

OUTCOMES/SIGNIFICANCE/POLICY AND PRACTICE CHANGE A recent review of post natal depression among Aboriginal and Indigenous women was conducted (Bowen et al., 2010). The authors’ recommendations included the need to collaborate with communities for best practice. Project recommendations will influence Mental Health Nurses and Aboriginal health workers’ practice. Furthermore, recommendations will guide health policy for culturally improved perinatal and family health care for parents at this vulnerable time.

IMPLICATIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH NURSING For young Aboriginal people, birth and parenting is not always optimal or positive. Knowledge on how education and knowledge can empower young Aboriginal clients to make healthy parenting decisions in the face of adversity will assist mental health practitioners to build their resilience (Lalonde, 2006).

LEARNING OBJECTIVES SIGNIFICANT TO PAPER As practitioners and researchers, it is essential we know that Aboriginal people and communities determine their own way to build health, resilience, and social and emotional wellbeing. We can assist in collaborating on the journey but cannot be the drivers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2013 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
Other Information: Special Issue: ACHMN's 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference Collaboration and Partnership in Mental Health Nursing, 22‐24 October 2013, Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, Western Australia. Guest Editor: Peta Marks
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