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Way Forward: An Indigenous approach to wellbeing

Our health. Our culture. Our way.

The Way Forward Program is a culturally informed, strengths-focussed, approach to improving mental health and addictions outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members in Metro South and Metro North Hospital and Health Services (HHS’s).

We can achieve the best outcomes for our community by delivering culturally secure mental health and addiction services. Our approach is to use the most effective contemporary practice which acknowledges the cultural rights and distinct values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.

Our priorities:

1.Culturally secure governance

We provide management, support and Indigenous leadership to the Indigenous Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug (IMHAOD) workforce. This means cultural support is now available as well as a range of Indigenous specific professional development activities.

2. Building cultural capability

We’re working with non-Indigenous service providers to build cultural capability and respond more effectively to the needs of our community members.

3. An integrated service

By providing culturally secure mental health and addiction services, we want to give people quicker access to the help they need. We do this by working with our Indigenous non-government partners and other service providers to enable effective care and smooth transitions between services.

Our focus

Way Forward seek to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to culturally secure mental health care that acknowledges difference and responds accordingly.

With Indigenous leadership the IMHAOD workforce will provide culturally responsive services to our community members.

Our target population is adult Indigenous consumers of mental health and addictions services in Metro North and Metro South Hospital and Health Services. These services are generally available during business hours Monday to Friday, limited extended hours are being explored as an element of MH Call at Metro South HHS.

Some of our service aims include:

  • Developing Indigenous professional development and career pathways that empower staff and encourage retention
  • Building relationships by working for and working with the community
  • Promote and support non-traumatic access to acute services

Way Forward is funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch (ATSIHB) Queensland Health under Close the Gap initiative until June 2018.

For more information on Way Forward please contact WayForward@health.qld.gov.au

Last updated 5 September 2016
Last reviewed 27 May 2016