Social & Emotional Wellbeing Framework
The Social & Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) framework has been created in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia, and is informed by cultural ways of knowing, being, and doing; it recognises the importance of culture and history as important factors that, inform and guide understandings of health & mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
SEWB diagram adapted from Gee et al., (2014)
The sense of self is grounded in a collectivist perspective that understands self as intrinsically intertwined with a family and community. Stronger connections to culture and Country builds individual and collective identities. Empowerment, pride, and strong identity contributes to sense of self and feeling whole.
Connection to Body and Behaviours
Includes normal biological markers of physical health such as diet and exercise. Disruptions include smoking and chronic and communicable disease and exclusions from health systems. Restoration can include sports, hunting and gathering, traditional diets and medicines, and accessing services.
Connection to Mind and Emotions
Extends beyond mental health, to include recognising culture-bound disorders and the importance of positive emotions, self-confidence and experiencing of joy, rather than just the absence of disorder.
Disruptions include threats to safety, cultural trauma symptoms, and racism. Restoration includes accessing supports, education, truth-telling, and recognition of human rights.
Connection to Family and Kinship
Includes the importance of family and group relations, kinship attachment systems of reciprocity and caring, gender and age roles, including respect for Elders and heritage. Disruptions include removal of children from their families. Restoration includes connecting with family history, strong parenting and family programs, spending time with Elders, and developing healthy relationships with significant others.
Connection to Community
Includes cultural structures of responsibility and obligation, social inclusion and relationships. Community cohesion and community-based cultural revitalisation strengthen cultural identity.
Disruptions include lateral violence, family feuding, and isolation. Restoration includes self-determination and community-control, and utilising community to be engaged with others and as a place to give and seek support from others.
Connection to Culture
Includes cultural expression (yarning, ceremony, fire, art, dance, song, storytelling); cultural knowledge (language, protocol, sociocultural norms, lore, moral and ethical practices) and cultural identity (pride, belonging, values). Disruption includes cultural genocide and cultural clash. Restoration includes learning about, involvement and participating in cultural expression and knowledge.
Connection to Country (land)
Includes a deep experience of belonging to Country, there is a traditional or spiritual association to kin and culture and a contemporary yearning to heal country. Disruptions include the dispossession of land. Restoration includes returning to land as a way of healing body, mind, spirit, reconnecting with community, and cultural renewal.
Connection to Ancestors (spirituality)
Includes knowledge and belief systems, the Dreaming, and cultural healing practices, and value of wisdom and hope. Disruptions include the impact of mission life and assimilation. Restoration includes accepting evolving expressions of Indigeneity and expressions of spirituality coexisting with Christianity or mindful practices that enable peace and balance.
Determinates of Health
Outside of these domains of wellbeing are several important structural determinates that shape the dynamics of power, human rights and justice, and the access and distribution of resources- all of which are central to shared historical experiences of trauma and resistance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Expressions & Experiences
Over the lifespan there is an ebb and flow of change as risk factors disrupt connections and protective restore and strengthen connections. Resilient and empowered individuals and communities maximise exposure to risk factors.
Sourced: Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing
Koorie Mental Health Liaison Officer (KMHLO)
The Koorie Mental Health Liaison Officer (KMHLO) is able to provide culturally appropriate support from triage to discharge for inpatients experiencing mental health issues and patients accessing Emergency Department. The KMHLO is able to provide advocacy and support during business hours to Aboriginal patients and their families and cultural advice and support to Barwon Health staff and clinicians within the Acute Health setting.
Phone: 0466 378 409
8am - 4pm, Monday – Friday