Mental illnesses are among the fastest growing health problems nationwide and Indigenous Australians are at high risk.

Menzies researchers are seeking to prevent mental illness by identifying the tools and methods people and communities need to stay socially, spiritually, emotionally and mentally strong.

Our research focus:
  • To communicate 'two-way' mental health messages and to discover ways to overcome language and literacy barriers.
  • To address mental health literacy needs in remote and urban settings for primary care and specialist services.
  • To develop the skills of Indigenous researchers and to conduct research that provides practical and culturally appropriate early intervention and treatment.
Our research impact:
  • Our program of research – the Aboriginal and Islander Mental health initiative (AIMhi) – has given Indigenous service providers and communities a range of tools to better recognise and manage the problems causing mental illness, such as social issues, work worries and family stress.
  • The AIMhi Stay Strong Plan and other AIMhi resources have been developed and continue to be used in a diverse range of services across the country. The AIMhi resources promote integrated care and are used in mental health, substance use, youth, primary care, perinatal and chronic disease services.
  • Our AIMhi Stay Strong App is one of very few e-mental health resources designed to meet the needs of Indigenous Australians and is supported by the Australian Government’s e-Mental Health Strategy.
  • Many health professionals, community workers and service providers have been trained in different settings to use the AIMhi approach through  the training programs and materials that we have developed.
  • AIMhi has explored and supported new approaches to care for people with alcohol related injuries in hospital.
  • AIMhi has collaborated with the ABCD partnership and One21seventy to develop primary care tools and training that support best practice in early intervention in mental health and youth health.
Funders:
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Key staff:

 


 

  1. Puszka, S., Dingwall, K., Sweet, M., Nagel, T. (2016) E-Mental Health Innovations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: A Qualitative Study of Implementation Needs in Health Services, JMIR Mental Health, 3(3): e43
  2. Povey, J., Mills, P.P., Dingwall, K.M., Lowell, A., Singer, J., Rotumah, D., et al. (2016). Acceptability of Mental Health Apps for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(3), e65.
  3. Dingwall, K., Puszka, S., Sweet, M., Mills, P.P. & Nagel, T. (2015). Evaluation of a culturally adapted training course in Indigenous e-mental health. Australasian Psychiatry, 23(6), 630-635.
  4. Dingwall, K.M., Puszka, S., Sweet, M., & Nagel, T. (2015). “Like drawing into sand”: Acceptability, feasibility and appropriateness of a new e-mental health resource for service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Australian Psychologist, 50, 60-9.
  5. Puszka, S., Nagel, T., Matthews, V., Mosca, D., Piovesan, R., Nori, A., & Bailie, R. (2015) Monitoring and assessing the quality of care for youth: developing an audit tool using an expert consensus approach. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 9(28)
  6. Prowse, P., & Nagel, T. (2014). Developing an instrument for assessing fidelity of motivational care planning: The Aboriginal and Islander Mental health initiative adherence scale. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 8, 36. 
  7. Schierhout, G., Nagel, T., Si, D., Connors, C., Brown, A., & Bailie, R. (2013). “Do competing demands of physical illness in type 2 diabetes influence depression screening, documentation and management in primary care: a cross-sectional analytic study in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care settings.” International Journal of Mental Health Systems 7(1), 16.
  8. Nagel, T., & Thompson, C. (2010). The central role of Aboriginal families in motivational counseling: family support and family ‘humbug’. Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin, 10(1).
  9. Liliberte, A., & Nagel, T. (2010). LI-CBT with Indigenous consumers: creative solutions for culturally appropriate mental health care In: Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions. In Bennett-Levy, et al .Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions. Oxford Guides in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy . Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 577-585.
  10. Nagel, T., Thompson, C., Spencer, N., Judd, J., & Williams, R. (2009). Two way approaches to Indigenous mental health training: Brief training in brief interventions. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH), 8(2).
Click here to view more mental health publications in PubMed.
  1. At Pioneer FC, suicide does discriminate

    At Pioneer FC, suicide does discriminate

    Date

    Gary Robinson, a suicide researcher at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, traces a wave of suicides that hit Western Australia’s Kimberley region in recent years to the arrival of alcohol and cash-based economies, and a breakdown of cultural authority structures

  2. Urgent response ‘no fix for suicide’

    Urgent response ‘no fix for suicide’

    Date

    Professor Gary Robinson said to get indigenous suicide rates back under control, Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt would need to “look through” many urgent calls for support

  3. Intergenerational trauma and Indigenous suicides in WA

    Intergenerational trauma and Indigenous suicides in WA

    Date

    Experts claim the government is not only misdiagnosing the problem but is also unable to come up with productive solutions. By Karen Middleton.

  4. COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

    COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

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    The Federal, state and territory Health Ministers met in Adelaide at the COAG Health Council to discuss a range of national health issues.

  5. New app uses real-life stories from Indigenous kids to help others deal with bullying

    New app uses real-life stories from Indigenous kids to help others deal with bullying

    Date

    A group of Northern Territory youth workers, Aboriginal broadcasters and health researchers have launched a new digital resource.

  6. The Wire | NEW ONLINE TOOL INTRODUCED TO PREVENT BULLYING OF INDIGENOUS YOUTH

    The Wire | NEW ONLINE TOOL INTRODUCED TO PREVENT BULLYING OF INDIGENOUS YOUTH

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    Digital Trakz uses interactive cartoon graphics to present real-life scenarios of bullying and teasing that happens in the Indigenous communities and asks youth what they what do in particular situations.

  7. $630,000 Injected into Suicide Prevention PhD Research

    $630,000 Injected into Suicide Prevention PhD Research

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    Six PhD candidates from five Australian universities in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory will each receive $105,000 in funding to undertake new research into suicide prevention over three years.

  8. ABC Radio AM | Belyuen Hip Hop on Mental Health

    ABC Radio AM | Belyuen Hip Hop on Mental Health

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    Teenagers in the Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Belyuen say they hope their hip hop video clip about mental illness will encourage other kids to be open about their problems. Professor Gary Robinson Director, Menzies Centre for Child Development and Education praised their efforts.

  9. Teenagers make hip hop clip about mental illness

    Teenagers make hip hop clip about mental illness

    Date

    Teenagers in the Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Belyuen say they hope their hip hop video clip about mental illness will encourage other kids to be open about their problems.

  10. Improving wellbeing through brief interventions

    Improving wellbeing through brief interventions

    Date

    Improving wellbeing through brief interventions Health and wellbeing self management has become more accessible through the availability of apps. The Stay Strong app developed by Menzies is a unique electronic resource for clinicians or case workers to...

  11. Mental health app reaches out to Indigenous Australians

    Mental health app reaches out to Indigenous Australians

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    A pioneering iPad app which visually represents an individual’s strengths and weakness is hoping to significantly improve Indigenous mental health; one of the nation’s fastest growing health problems.

  12. New app to improve Indigenous mental health featured on World Mental Health Day

    New app to improve Indigenous mental health featured on World Mental Health Day

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    An innovative iPad app based on tools developed by Indigenous people for Indigenous people is hoping to address one of the nation’s fastest growing health problems.

  13. World Mental Health Day 2011

    World Mental Health Day 2011

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