Written by Angela Sherida, WellMob
Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) is how we understand Indigenous mental health. This holistic view of health includes everything from how we feel about ourselves to how we can interact with the world around us. It is our intertwined connections to country, community, identity, and spirituality. Our ancient Indigenous knowledge systems strengthen our ways of doing, knowing and being within the world we live.
Much like a tree – the stronger our root system of connection, the more we can grow and thrive and the stronger our branches will be to weather the storms.
The recent collective experience of Covid and long lockdowns have highlighted how by using digital resources we can all stay connected to each other as well as help to stay mentally well. We can continue to use these resources in everyday life to strengthen not only the wellbeing of ourselves, but also for the patients and clients we work with.
Digital tools and online resources like mindfulness, meditation and mood monitoring apps became an important part of wellbeing practice during this socially isolated period. Why should those tools be limited to when we can’t meet face to face?
The WellMob website is a great example of a digital tool that can be used with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and patients. It is a digital library with links to over 250 online wellbeing resources that are Indigenous specific and culturally relevant, responsive, and safe. Using online resources with Indigenous clients can help strengthen their wellbeing as well as assist non – Indigenous workers to bridge gaps in cultural understanding and be able to provide a more culturally safe practice.
The WellMob website has made searching and finding these Indigenous specific resources on the internet easy. It has linked resources under six main topic tiles. These tiles represent parts of the holistic view of mental health based on a model of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing. A good wellbeing practice can help to can make everyday stressors easier to manage.
Examples of resources are listed next to the topic tiles below.
A video about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people often have a lot going on. The video encourages people who feel sad, tired, stressed, and angry all the time to seek help.
A suicide safety plan app. The safety plan sets out the ways you can keep safe, such as making a list of people to call when you are having a rough time or suicidal thoughts. You can select an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander version in the app settings.
A set of resources on mental health and wellbeing, stress and pressure, relationships and alcohol and drugs.
A website with information and resources to support and empower communities who are working to address ice use and related harms. It includes information for people who use ice, their families and friends, health workers and community groups.
A website with information about drugs to help educate young people. It includes booklets, videos and games to prevent harm caused by drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Some resources are in English, Arrernte, Torres Strait Islander Creole and Warlpiri.
A video featuring Raymond Zada talking about the wellbeing of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or any other gender identity. They talk about the importance of creating safe communities so people can be their true self.
A collection of videos on keeping healthy during pregnancy. They provide advice for reducing and stopping the use of alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
A series of short films where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities share the stories and connections behind place names of their Country.
This podcast app consists of a collection of sleep stories created by First Nations storytellers. These sleep stories bring a tradition of storytelling as old as time into the digital space. The stories are grounded in connection to Country and provide listeners with a sense of calmness that may help with sleep difficulties.
A website of resources for teachers, parents and young people to help kids and teens stay safe online.
An app to connect people experiencing violence or abuse to services in their local area. Has safety features to protect app users’ privacy.
A podcast that creates a space for young people to explore topics about intergenerational trauma, racism, identity, culture and healing. The podcast is hosted by Wuthathi and Torres Strait Islander woman, Jax Compton with special guests.
A website that has information to support healing for the Stolen Generation and their families and create awareness for Truth telling of the history and ongoing effects of forced removal of children. There are videos, school resource kits, webinars and other resources to support healing.
An animation where the narrator talks about learning to ‘swim the river’ as a symbol of facing challenges around family welfare and wellbeing. Topics include school attendance, grog and drugs, welfare dependency and government services. Videos are in both English and Pitjantjatjara.
Watch this series of short videos from health workers and health professionals about how they use WellMob with their Indigenous patients and clients in practice.
And for further resources about Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and using digital tools in practice check out.