Black Australians deserve to feel heard and supported. Now, as the world wakes up to the racial injustices of the past and present, this fact is more important than ever. If you – or a friend – are struggling, here’s where to get help.
Mental illness and poor mental health doesn’t discriminate. Anyone – no matter their race, wage or fame status – can be affected by depression and anxiety, yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people are significantly more likely to commit suicide than others.
Why? According to Beyond Blue, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people often have limited access to mental health support services, and they also lack culturally relevant early intervention programs.
The five mental health organisations below are looking to change those facts. And in a time where racial prejudices are running high, resources like these can be of invaluable help. Visit them if you’re looking for advice, or help support your black or coloured friends and family by sharing these links with them.
Based in NSW and 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned, Aboriginal Counselling offers mental health services to families, individuals and communities throughout the state. As well as providing assistance for those experiencing anxiety and depression, Aboriginal Counselling can also help manage issues with identity, relationships, gambling, grief and loss. With the mission that every client becomes a colleague – by helping pass on what they’ve learned to others – Aboriginal Counselling is devoted to improving the community by offering mentoring, cultural sensitivity education, mediation and policy advice to employers and employees, both indigenous and non-indigenous.
RELATED: Black beauty brands to support now, and forever.
Run by Mental Health Australia, Embrace Multicultural Health is committed to providing support for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds by focusing on mental health and suicide prevention. Their website lists resources for people experiencing a mental health crisis, links to mental health services, shares the personal stories of people from multicultural backgrounds, advocates for better mental healthcare in Australia and connects people with community organisations who provide services for every type of Australia.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
Established in 1987, TeamHEALTH has been supporting residents of Darwin, Palmerston and the remote communities of the Top End for more than 30 years. Their all-inclusive philosophy means nobody is left without help, and they have a variety of services for children, adults and families including counselling, housing, residential support, education and training, support coordination and special care in the event of a suicide attempt. Visit their website for one-on-one help, or drop into the TeamHEALTH Community Hub for social, recreational and educational activities.
Looking for a psychologist or counsellor who understands what it’s like to be black, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or any other race you identify with? Search the Psychology Today directory for “racial identity counselling” in your area. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who has experienced – or can empathise better with – similar concerns to your own.
When a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare professionals grew concerned about the lack of mental health services for Brisbane’s indigenous community, they established Gallang Place – an organisation dedicated to improving their emotional, mental and social wellbeing. Since 1994, Gallang Place has helped Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people create healthier lives and relationships through counselling, advocacy and support for problems with police and government agencies, feelings of grief and trauma, managing anger and frustration and health and nutrition.