The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being: 2004 – 2009 aims to ‘respond to the high incidence of social and emotional well being problems and mental ill health, by providing a framework for national action’ (Framework, 2004).
The Framework is designed to work in conjunction with the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2003-2013 (NSFATSIH), which builds upon the Framework Agreements on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
The Framework contains the following five key strategic directions:
‘1. Focus on children, young people, families and communities.
1.1 Strengthening families to raise healthy, resilient infants, children, and young people.
1.2 Recognising and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander philosophies on holistic health and healing.
1.3 Responding to grief, loss, trauma and anger.
2. Strengthen Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
2.1 Building a skilled and confident workforce able to provide mental health and social and emotional well being services within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.
3. Improved access and responsiveness of mental health care.
3.1 Facilitating improved access and responsiveness of mainstream mental health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
4. Coordination of resources, programs, initiatives and planning.
4.1 Providing optimal funding and coordination in order to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional well being.
4.2 Improving coordination, planning and monitoring mechanisms.
5. Improve quality, data and research.
5.1 Developing and publishing culturally appropriate data and research that reflects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional well being issues and that underpin improved service delivery.’
(Framework, 2004, 15).
Key Sector Participation
The Framework aims to involve a broad cross-section of organisations and individuals on a national, state/territory and local/regional level.
On a national level, the Framework includes agencies such as:
Related government agencies and national committees in health, community services, justice, police and education portfolios.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council.
Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC).
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
The Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).
On a State/Territory level, the Framework will include:
Framework Agreement Partners.
Departments of health, family and community services, justice, police, education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.
On a local/regional level, the Framework will seek to involve:
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHs).
Local communities, individuals and families including elders.
Aboriginal Health Workers.
Aboriginal Child Care Agencies.
Other service providers in child care, education and health.
Child and youth mental health services.