Understanding Indigenous Wellbeing

TristanSchultzArtwork“Indigenous people have a holistic view of health and wellbeing that incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, scial and environmental. It does not just focus on the individual, but also on the health and wellbeing of the community.”

Indigenous Heath and Wellbeing
To appreciate the many ways that society can facilitate the healing of Indigenous people, we must understand the Indigenous view of health and wellbeing. It is different to that of western culture.

Indigenous people have a holistic view of health and wellbeing that incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and environmental. It does not just focus on the individual, but also on the health and wellbeing of the community.

This view, which has been in existence for tens of thousands of years, is far richer than the western concept of mental health, which comes from an illness or clinical perspective.

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Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing

imagesIndigenous people have a holistic view of health that incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and environmental.

It includes healing oneself and relationships with others, such as family and community members. It recognises the importance of connecting to land, culture, spirituality and history, as well as the importance of bonds of reciprocal affection, responsibility and caring.

The Indigenous view of health people also recognises the importance of healing the community, rather than just focusing on the individual.

Indigenous people focus on social and emotional wellbeing, rather than on mental health. They view social and emotional wellbeing problems arising from a broad range of circumstances – unresolved grief and loss, trauma and abuse, domestic violence, removal from family, substance misuse, family breakdown, cultural dislocation, loss of land, racism and discrimination, and social disadvantage.

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Ivan Oransky: Are we over-medicalized?

‘Reuters health editor Ivan Oransky warns that we’re suffering from an epidemic of preposterous preconditions — pre-diabetes, pre-cancer, and many more. In this engaging talk from TEDMED he shows how health care can find a solution… by taking an important lesson from baseball.’

Sharing Culture

rsz_img_2891Please check out my new website, Sharing Culture, which focuses on Aboriginal healing. Here is what we say on our home page:

What is Sharing Culture?
Sharing Culture is a unique initiative to empower Aboriginal people to heal and develop resilience to historical trauma and its consequences. These consequences include poor physical health, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, abuse  and suicide.  

Sharing Culture is based on the core values of authenticity, connection, courage, creativity, empathy and forgiveness.

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Historical Trauma: Nature of the Problem

Unknown-4 With the launch of our new Sharing Culture initiative and website, here is a description of The Problem:

‘Colonisation and its associated violence and control still exert a marked negative impact today on Australian Aboriginal people. Trauma and an associated unresolved grief have been transmitted across generations in ways that have influenced individuals, families and communities.

Expressions of historical trauma in Aboriginal people can be seen in: adults who feel inadequate in their day-to-day functioning: the poor physical and psychological health and much lower life expectancy; the escalation in addiction to alcohol and other substances which are used as a coping mechanism; the increase in domestic violence across generations; the self-harm, suicide and risk-taking that occurs when people can find no meaning to their existence and have no sense of purpose for their day-to-day activities.

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‘Could you ever ‘thank’ your addiction?’ by Matt Kay

59ff221d-8797-41dc-a4cc-0aaac463be8e-620x372Been a while since we had a Matt Kay blog from my old website Wired In To Recovery. So here goes:

‘Is this concept as far fetched as some of you may be thinking? How on earth can I ‘thank’ my addiction and how does it deserve a ‘thank you’.  Bear with me here for a minute and let that thought mull around in your head while I tell you why I am asking it.

I asked this question a while back to some fellow recoverees with what could only be described as ‘mixed reactions’ and no-one seemed to grasp what I was aiming at. As we all know, anyone who has lived through active addiction will know that there isn’t anything positive that it brings.

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‘The crisis of modernity’ by Phil Hanlon

Recently, I introduced you to Professor Philip Hanlon. Mark Gilman had told me about Phil and his work and I am excited by what he and his colleagues are doing. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to show a series of film clips which describe Phil’s Afternow project.

On the relevant webpage, Phil says:

‘Modernity has brought many benefits (including technological improvements, material comfort, longer life expectancy and improved health), but the downside includes the emergence of new problems which stem from the way we live our lives and structure our society.

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Recommended book: Mindfulness for Health

41RlD9kqm5L._-e1377080652263Pain, suffering and stress can be intolerable – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Mindfulness for Health reveals a series of simple practices that you can incorporate into your daily life to relieve chronic pain and the suffering and stress of illness. Clinical trials show that mindfulness meditation can be as effective as prescription painkillers and also enhances the body’s natural healing systems. Mindfulness can also reduce the anxiety, depression, irritability, exhaustion and insomnia that can arise from chronic pain and illness.

Mindfulness for Health is based on a unique meditation programme developed by Vidyamala Burch to help her cope with the severe pain of spinal injury. Taught at Breathworks in the UK – and its affiliates around the world – this programme has helped tens of thousands of people cope with pain, illness and stress.

The eight-week programme at the heart of this book takes just 10-20 minutes per day. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your suffering melts away, leaving behind a deep-seated love of life.

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‘Global Health Futures’ by Cormac Russell

UnknownOver the next few days I am privileged to be attending the Global Health Futures Conference hosted by the College of Medicine, UK and Soukya Foundation. We are in Bangalore, India, and I can think of no better place to speak about Health beyond sickness and allopathic approaches.

This morning’s conference opening was refreshing, The Prince of Wales who is currently in India addressed delegates via video link, and his message chimed with that of others: Health is not a commodity, it is co-produced and must have the person and their community at the centre with medical systems in service and in reserve. The Prince of Wales cited Hazel Stuteley’s work in England and called for more approaches of this kind.

Brian Fisher and Hazel Stuteley addressed the conference in the afternoon with a passionate invitation to all in attendance to work to ensure that asset based community development is known and practiced globally on the basis that it offers a global opportunity for health improvement.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Health

Although health was not a major concern for most participants, some saw health as an important factor underlying resilience.

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Journeys into and out of heroin addiction, Part 2

Focuses on living with addiction and covers such topics as relationships, changes in personality and lifestyle, hustling, crime and prison, impact on health, and treatment (5,900 words).

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The nature of alcohol dependence

Looks at the cluster of seven elements that make up the template for which the degree of dependence is judged (900 words).

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