Donna’s story

By | August 30, 2019


The role of an Aboriginal mental health clinician, I believe that we will bring a unique set of skills to
the mental health workforce. In terms of Aboriginal people who present to our services there’s often some cultural reasons why there might need to be an involvement
of an Aboriginal mental health clinician. But also in clinical capacities often when people are presenting with mental
illness it can be difficult to define. You have
in an instance of somebody with hallucinations it could be
that the person is presenting with you know, a psychotic illness. But there might also be some cultural issues around if there’s been
significant loss for that person. They could be
experiencing cultural phenomena where they’re
actually either hearing or speaking or seeing the deceased family member or relative. In that
instance it might be the case that an Aboriginal mental health clinician would be integral in terms of determining for the clinical setting as to
whether that was part of the illness or whether it was something else happening on a cultural level for that person. So I believe
that, you know, that’s one of the I guess unique examples of where we bring that skill set to the mental health workplace. I guess the other thing to think about is that as
Aboriginal people we have that lived experience of being a part of our communities. Having, you know, been there when the trauma, loss and those things have happened. It’s not uncommon for people experience grief and loss at a very
young age and then have, you know, high numbers of people that they lose throughout their lives. It’s the personal side to the grief, loss and trauma but there’s also the I guess the historical side to that
trauma, and grief and loss that’s happened throughout history to Aboriginal people. As a community it’s caused things like loss of identity, particularly cultural identity, you know,
who you are where you’re from how you fit within your
community or society so that’s had significant issues. So
we also, I guess, have that a very close connection to what’s
happened for people and as Aboriginal people share that, I guess, grief, loss and trauma with our communities.

2 thoughts on “Donna’s story

  1. Veronica Bartley Post author

    WAY TO GO DONNA , REAL PROUD OF YOU, YOU MAKE US ALL PROUD. GREAT INTERVIEW.

    Reply

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