Australian Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islanders Case Study

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Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) individuals are known to experience rates of mental illness far above the national average, with suicide rates significantly higher in some communities. Discuss the social and cultural factors that are associated with higher rates of mental illness and suicide, and identify one evidence‐based strategy to address this. Suicide and mental illness rates amongst Indigenous Australians are significantly higher than that of non-Indigenous Australians. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population constitutes approximately 3% of the total Australian population as per the 2011 consensus (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013). Of the approximate 700,000 people, 90% identify as being Aboriginal, 6% identify as being Torres Strait Islander and 4% identify as being both (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012). Although constituting a much smaller portion of the population, mental illness and suicide rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are, on average 3…show more content…
ATSIs are stereotypically known for alcohol, drug misuse and daily smoking habits. There are higher rates of usage of illicit drug amongst ATSIs, 24.2% had reported using illicit drugs in the twelve months prior to being surveyed compared to 13.0% for non indigenous people (Hart & etal, 2010). Higher levels of substance abuse are significantly linked with mental health conditions and suicides in aboriginal communities. Drug and alcohol use is also strongly connected to violence; in particular, domestic violence amongst ATSI communities. ATSI populations are associated with higher rates of criminal offences which often leads to incarceration. In Australia, ATSI make up approximately 28% of the prison populations in 2015 (Australian Bureau of Statistics,
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