Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need access to culturally safe and secure clinical health services that meet their mental health needs. These can be culturally responsive mainstream services, or clinical services – such as psychological services – offered through Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations. Clinical mental health services for Indigenous people are likely to be most effective when they include additional support, such as interpreting services, and include Indigenous clinicians on staff.
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Aboriginal Interpreting Western Australia (AIWA)
Studies show that poor communication between healthcare providers and clients can have major adverse consequences on health, mental health and wellbeing outcomes. High-quality intercultural communication is a core component of effective, culturally secure service delivery. improved intercultural communication can be achieved through the use of professional interpreters, to relay information to increase health literacy and the uptake of health care, and improved clinical outcomes and satisfaction with care.
Aboriginal Interpreting Western Australia Aboriginal Corporation (AIWAAC) has over 100 qualified, accredited interpreters covering more than 40 Aboriginal languages in WA – engagements with interpreter services enhances clinical services.
Carbal Medical Centre
Carbal Medical Services (Carbal) is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Care Organisation (ATSICCHO) which operates in Toowoomba and the Southern Downs area in Queensland.
Phone: 1300 379 558
Toowoomba Medical Centre: 125 Russell Street, Toowoomba Phone: (07) 4639 7300
Warwick Medical Centre: 55 Wood Street, Warwick Phone (07) 4688 0500
NDIS/PHaMs Support Services: 104 South Street Toowoomba Phone: (07) 4639 7400
Carbal originated from the efforts of Aboriginal people to establish a culturally safe and secure health service in Toowoomba that could comprehensively address the health needs. It provides comprehensive culturally safe, responsive primary health care service including clinical and population health programs, that are integrated with other complementary service providers. Carbal Medical Services cover the Darling Downs, Southern Downs and Goondiwinidi regions, with five offices located across the regions and provide transport to clients to access services. Services include:
» General Practice Clinic
» Allied Health
» Aboriginal Health Workers
» Strong Fathers Support
» Tackling Indigenous Smoking
» Hearing Health
» Drug and Alcohol program
» Vision Testing
» Child and Maternal Health
» Patient Transport
» Visiting Specialists
Carbal Medical Services aims to provide holistic world class medical and health care services towards achieving equity in health outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who fall under Carbal’s service area. Carbal strives to provide ‘Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care in a Caring and Confidential Environment’.
1. Delivers services to approximately 1300 clients.
2. Established a Food Bank within their site.
3. Serve more than 2000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients at Warwick Clinic.
4. In 2018, a Carbal staff member completed her Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care, and will be an Aboriginal Health Worker for Carbal.
5. Printed the seventh book in their culturally safe, preventative health education series that is distributed to schools and other organisations throughout the region and interstate.
6. Self-funded a Cultural Awareness Training program (Carbal CAT) to deliver to non-health organisations and primary health (accredited with the RACGP and ACRRM) to ensure cultural competency across a range of services.
7. Injects a significant amount of self generated funds to support community groups and events including NAIDOC, Murri Court, Reconciliation Week, Carbal Reconciliation Community Choir.
8. 2018-19 financials reflect growth in self-generated revenue of 37% which funds identification and addressing of health related priorities.
1. Partners with research bodies to deliver research based projects through Carbal Medical Service facilities.
2. Continuously redesigning its processes to ensure clients’ medical, health, social and cultural needs are met.
3. A dedicated multidisciplinary team working to close the gap between health outcomes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and non-Indigenous population.
4. Operation Manual with Quality Policy including
a) commitment to quality and continual improvement, and
b) conducting Indigenous Health research to ensure delivery of culturally appropriate primary health care to improve indigenous health outcomes.
5. Website portal link for client and stakeholder feedback.
6. Involved in Aboriginal Health research projects and collection and reporting of data to enhance decision-making processes prioritising funding.
Carbal is established by Aboriginal people and is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Care Organisation (ATSICCHO). It meets the CBPATSISP criteria for inclusion.
Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) Metropolitan
The Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) Metropolitan supports both Aboriginal consumers and carers in accessing mainstream mental health services, and in better meeting the needs of Aboriginal people. This service is located in Perth, Western Australia.
Located at De Grey House, Graylands Health Campus, SAMHS Metropolitan provides state-wide consultation/liaison with service providers and the community; advocacy for Aboriginal consumers; and operates as a peak body for Aboriginal mental health professionals. SAMHS Metropolitan operates with cultural integrity using strategies to include brokering of elders, and traditional healers to participate in particular clinical cases.
SAMHS Metropolitan is an adult mental health service that provides a ‘whole of family’ approach to service delivery.
Contact: Michael Mitchell, Program Manager, Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service Metropolitan
Phone: 08 9235 2400 Email:SAMHSM@health.wa.gov.au