The Central Coast Branch of Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW Inc identified the need to better support Aboriginal people in the Central Coast Region.
This is because, (as the Report notes); "Aboriginal people have a life expectancy approximately 17 years less than the greater population. They experience high death rates in younger people and are 1.7 times more likely to be hospitalised for injury and poisoning. Aboriginal people are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital for heart disease and stroke and are 4 to 5 times more likely to be hospitalised for diabetes. They are 3 to 5 times likely to be hospitalised for chronic respiratory disease and 3 times more likely to be hospitalised for acute respiratory disease."
"With this alarming information an investigation was needed as to why Mental Health Carers ARAFMI has a very low rate of referral to or from the Aboriginal community which statistically would have higher carer needs."
As a result of these considerations, ARAFMI Central Coast conducted a project to employ an ATSI Support Worker to better understand the needs of this community;
"ARAFMI made the assumption that Aboriginal groups needs may be different, that Aboriginal carers may benefit from Family & Carer support and that low engagement rates are due to ARAFMI’s lack of engagement with the Aboriginal community.
The obvious lack of accessible resources available, and the extremely limited contact with Aboriginal families led Central Coast ARAFMI to investigate ways to reach out to families to reduce social isolation & improve health outcomes.
This was a great opportunity to strengthen or establish the linking mechanisms between the Aboriginal community and ARAFMI carer support services."
Download and read the full report into this important project below.