Gayaa Dhuwi Proud Spirit Australia welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing pandemic response plan

Gayaa Dhuwi Proud Spirit Australia welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing pandemic response plan

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia Chair Professor Helen Milroy welcomed today’s National Cabinet announcement of $48.1m to support a National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing pandemic response plan to be developed and implemented through Indigenous leadership.

I thank the National Cabinet for acknowledging the pandemic related wellbeing and mental health support needs of our peoples today, and the need for Indigenous leadership to be supported.

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia is already demonstrating itself to be a uniquely Indigenous and trusted source of wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention information, help and hope during the pandemic. And I believe the new body is uniquely placed, and has a significant role to play, in the development of this Indigenous-specific pandemic response plan.

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia CEO Mr Tom Brideson closed by saying:

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia members the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and the Centre for Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) have worked for many years to establish an Indigenous-specific mental health and suicide prevention helpline. This is particularly critical during the pandemic and could be built into the Indigenous pandemic response plan. This may require a workforce training plan and other elements, but together Indigenous leadership organisations such as AIPA, CBPATSISP and Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia are more than ready to meet this and other challenges within a wider Indigenous-specific response to Covid-19.

This is a clear example of how Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia and leaderships groups need to align the pandemic response plans across all activities to ensure the best available responses are achieved for our people.

Available for media: Mr Tom Brideson, Professor Helen Milroy via Layla on 0449 558 290.

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