The Stolen Generations are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed as children from their families and communities through race-based policies set up by both State and Federal Governments from 1910 to the 1970s.
If people don’t have the opportunity to heal from past trauma, they may unknowingly pass it on to others. Their children may experience difficulties with attachment, disconnection from their extended families and culture and high levels of stress from family and community members who are dealing with the impacts of trauma.
We work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing leadership, survivors, youth, therapists and academics to harness knowledge and co-design projects that combine ancient Indigenous healing knowledge with Western trauma knowledge.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, healing is a holistic process, which addresses mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs and involves connections to culture, family and land. Healing works best when solutions are culturally strong, developed and driven at the local level, and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families.
The Healing Foundation hosted theHealing and Mental Health Public Forum and Webinaron 11 August at the Museum of Sydney.
MC Anita Heiss and speakers Joan Dickson, Preston Campbell, Shondelle Bolt and Justin Files discussed the role healing has to play in addressing mental health issues in our community.
Joan Dickson has worked in western NSW for over 25 years supporting families and communities. Joan discussed the connection between intergenerational trauma and mental health in Bourke and Brewarrina and the links between healing and improved mental health outcomes.
NRL legend Preston Campbell spoke about his own experience of mental illness. During the height of his football career he suffered from depression and sought help. Preston talked about busting the myths associated with mental health and that it can no longer be taboo. Preston stressed that we must be honest with ourselves and others about the way we feel.
Shondelle Bolt works with Aboriginal Affairs as the Senior Project Officer Regional Coordination Directorate. Shondelle spoke about her own self-healing journey following a traumatic period in her life. She spoke about her connection to culture and spirit being her lifeline.
Justin Files specialises in the management of innovative community based Aboriginal health models. Justin spoke about the importance of community consultation and how mental health services can be a soft entry point into the health system.
Presentations were followed by a short Q&A session with questions coming from both the Sydney and online audiences.