Intriguing perspectives on mental health and Indigenous health

15 June 2012

Mental health and Indigenous health feature in the June issue of The Australian Journal of Rural Health. Brendon Evans presents a trenchant analysis of arguments for and against the Northern Territory Emergency Response. The mental health of resident mine workers and that of Australian farming communities is also highlighted in the latest issue, in articles by Kristy McLean and Susan Brumby respectively.

Ronne Jan Forbes has written a compelling study of adolescents’ perceptions of the social supports provided after the 2009 Gippsland fires, an article which is both rigorous and moving, and a testimony to the valuable but often neglected perspectives of adolescents in the aftermath of trauma.

Mental and physical health are both profoundly affected by the basic necessity of adequate nutrition. Brooke Scelza considers the limitations to access to food in Aboriginal communities, including isolation, reduced access to transport, poor roads, seasonal weather conditions and government programs that are incompatible with cultural concepts.

I Xiuzhi Pham analyses a high school course aimed at addressing the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the health professions. The study confirms the importance of improving knowledge of health; increasing student interest in a health career; maintaining students’ pride, self-esteem and confidence; positive role modelling; and creating hope.

It is a hopeful sign that much progress has been made in improving some of the health outcomes of people living in the rural and remote areas of this country. However, as Humphreys and Gregory report in “Celebrating another decade of progress in rural health: What is the current state of play?” Indigenous health as a whole has not improved and another two areas needing more progress are oral health and mental health. The AJRH continues to report and monitor research and evidence concerning rural health so that research results can be more efficiently translated into policy and practice.

The Australian Journal of Rural Health is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal about rural and remote health. It is owned and managed by the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) and you can subscribe at the website

Media Enquiries: 

Peter Brown – AJRH Manager: 02 6285 4660
Gordon Gregory – NRHA Executive Director: 02 6285 4660