Social and emotional wellbeing problems are the chief health issue experienced by young Australians. The small amount of information available suggests that Aboriginal young people experience even higher levels of mental health related harm.
Little is known about the pathways that Aboriginal children and adolescents with mental health concerns take when accessing specialized care and to what extent services are available, accessible and culturally appropriate. Further, although GPs are generally considered the gatekeepers to accessing specialist mental health services it is unclear the extent to which they feel confident and equipped to detect, assess and refer children for suspected mental health concerns, particularly in Aboriginal children.
This compilation of work sought to understand whether current guidelines and treatment pathways meet the needs of Aboriginal young people presenting with SEWB-related concerns and the extent to which GPs, nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers feel confident and equipped to deal with the mental health concerns they see in the children they deal with in their work at the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs). To gain this understanding two systematic reviews and a qualitative study were conducted.