Society is Failing to Tackle Historical Trauma

images-2“The bureaucratic interventions of the state – the processes of law, social welfare, and health care – have not addressed the core issue of human traumatisation. These issues, in many cases, compounded the trauma by creating and increasing dependency on the state, which, while intensifying the feelings of victimisation, also enforces the beliefs of being powerless to change destructive circumstances.” Judy Atkinson

If we are to help Indigenous people improve their health and wellbeing, we have to tackle core underlying problems such as historical trauma. However, our health care systems do not address historical trauma – they just manage its symptoms, e.g. by prescribing medications to ‘treat’ emotional distress.

As a result of this ‘band-aid’ approach, far too few Indigenous people are getting better, and far too many feel disempowered and experience intense feelings of hopelessness.

Indigenous people are often blamed for not getting better. Many experience side effects of the drugs they have been prescribed. A climate of disempowerment, hopelessness and blame is created which perpetuates psychological problems. Trauma passes on to another generation.

Society has the knowledge to heal historical trauma and its consequences. In fact, many Indigenous people possess the necessary coping mechanisms, skills and knowledge, and they’ve been healing themselves for years in their struggle to rise above historical trauma.

Research has also demonstrated the factors that facilitate healing of historical trauma and its consequences. However, this knowledge is poorly circulated.

> Severe Dysfunction in Some Levels of Government

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