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Decolonising mental health systems: Global experiences of wellbeing

Indigenous peoples are custodians of knowledge systems vetted and refined by thousands of centuries of practice-based evidence. Prior to colonisation, these knowledge systems ensured the survival, health, and harmony of Indigenous peoples, communities, and ecosystems. Post-colonisation, the health and mental health gaps between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples has widened at alarming rates.

In this webinar, six Indigenous global leaders in mental health and wellbeing from four colonised countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America), shared their experiences of walking in two worlds and of navigating mental health systems to ensure the wellbeing, healing and self-determination of indigenous peoples. A holistic worldview is offered that moves away from the deficit-and individually-focused narrative of mental illness and considers the social, cultural, political, and historical context of health and the structural drivers of health inequality.

This webinar, held as a free event within the Summit on Self-Harm, was an outstanding example of First Nations-driven international perspectives regarding mental health services, systems, research and practices being engaged with by an open audience in a way that was accessible, inclusive and empowering.

Watch the full webinar: 

Watch the interviews conducted after the webinar:

If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can contact your local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation or

  • 13YARN: 13 92 76
  • Lifeline: 131 114
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
  • Beyondblue 1300 22 46 36
  • Q Life 1800 18 45 27
  • Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling 1800 01 10 46
  • The National Indigenous Critical Response Service 1800 80 58 01
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