Community self-care resources

The Voice Referendum and accompanying debate is an important conversation that, as a country, we cannot shy away from. However, for First Nations people it comes with the burden of increases in incidences and experiences of racism. Racism has very negative effects on individual wellbeing, and the wellbeing of First Nations families and communities. This includes feelings of shame, lack of sleep and increased anxiety and depression.

As organisations working to improve and promote social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, and healing we have joined with Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) and 13 YARN to encourage mob to check in with themselves and others. A lot of resources and actions are needed to combat racism, and sometimes that can make us feel even more powerless. Arming ourselves with information on ways we can take care of our social and emotional wellbeing, and look out for others, is one important step we can make together.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, our connection to culture, country, community, kin, and family are critical to our wellness. There are things that we can all do to keep our spirits strong, and our families and communities supported. See our resources below to help you to Pause. Breathe. Connect.

Following are some more tips and resources to assist you to get started.

  • Acknowledge the impact of racism on ourselves and others. Racism has an impact on physical and mental health, and is a source of trauma. Knowing this and be aware of the stressors and symptoms can help us to understand what is happening, manage the effect and help others.
  • Being mindful, implementing mindfulness and meditation techniques such as deep breathing and awareness techniques can help us to ground and manage symptoms.
  • Staying connected, it is normal to experiences feelings of increased isolation as a symptom of racial stress. Participating in social activities with family and friends and talking with people can help.
  • Take care of our health. Eating well and exercising are important ways that we can help to keep our minds and bodies strong. Little things like going for a walk with a friend or learning to cook a new meal are small and simple acts that can help keep us strong.
  • Speak your truth. Don’t feel obligated to contribute to a conversation if the content is stressful for you. Feel free to say “This conversation is making me uncomfortable, I would like to excuse myself” or change the subject.
  • Culture is strength. Practicing culture through activities like connecting to country or creating art are powerful ways that we can process our experiences in a safe environment and find strength when our reserves are running low.

Below are some resources and places online, by phone and in-person where you can find more information, support and tips.

Pause. Breathe. Connect.

The Healing Foundation, in partnership with NACCHO has created self-care resources to encourage mob to Pause, Breathe and Connect in the face of racial stress, misinformation and challenging conversations.

Racial Stress and Trauma

Racial stress, or trauma, refers to the physical and psychological reactions that we can
have from experiencing racism. Racism includes being called names, experiences of
racist abuse, reading racist misinformation and experiencing or witnessing distressing
and racially motivated events or interactions.

Read Here

Dealing with Misinformation and Disinformation

Misinformation, disinformation and ‘fake news’ can cause anger, fear, mistrust or
confusion. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, mis/disinformation can be
targeted at us and increase during political or media commentary on Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander affairs. It is common on online platforms, such as social media,
YouTube, Reddit and via TV, radio and newspapers.

Read Here

Having Challenging Conversations

Being part of challenging conversations is normal but sometimes we can get caught up
in difficult conversations with non-Indigenous people, and even our own mob.

Read Here

Working to improve and promote social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and healing

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