Social and emotional wellbeing

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people view health as holistic, encompassing mental health and physical, cultural and spiritual health [33834]. Traditional culture does not recognise mental health or physical health as distinct medical issues.

The concept of social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) emerged in the 1980s and the term is preferred by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people [14208] although the terms ‘mental health’ or ‘mental illness’ are sometimes used interchangeably with SEWB [27487].

The rate of social and emotional wellbeing in the community is measured by asking people if they experience high or very high levels of psychological distress, treating people for mental health conditions or by measuring intentional self-harm and suicide. For all these measures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Western Australia (WA) experienced higher levels than non-Indigenous people [33909].

References

Key resources

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