chapter  8
33 Pages

Contexts of devastation

Indigenous mental health and colonization

This chapter describes the contexts out of which the 'mental health issues' arise for Indigenous populations are fraught with difficulties. Broadly speaking, when looking at all the literature there were only four main themes relating specifically to Indigenous Australians' mental health: processes in service provision, specific mental health issues and treatments for Indigenous Australians, characteristics of indigeneity and spirituality. To look at the contexts for 'Indigenous mental health' closer, a research team worked with different groups on the APY Lands in South Australia. A clear mental health intervention for Nukunu is to let them have time to go and live on Country. There were many more direct contexts for their 'mental health' issues and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis. Like community and family, the contextual effects of colonization are frequently hidden contexts from which the 'mental health' behaviours arise. Blindness of colonizing populations is itself a further indictment of colonization and its devastation.