Social and emotional wellbeing

WHO defines social and emotional wellbeing as the condition in which individuals in a community advance positively, live in harmony in a safe environment, and are capable of effecting change (Bramley, Hebert, Jackson & Chassin, 2004). Native medical services are those provided to indigenous peoples of various origins, cultures, races, and continents. It is assumed that Native health services consider mental health to be when an individual can receive appropriate therapy and good support for overcoming any life obstacles (Kildea, 2006). The World Health Organization has included mental health in its definition of health, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have explained it as more than merely feeling ill. Descriptive primary health care comprises of preventing illness, promoting good health, intervention, and care of the unwell, community progress as well as rehabilitating them.

Primary health care has taken roots in most health care facilities because of scientifically elaborate systems which are universally approvable, social-appropriate, and also sound accurately high-class care given. Aboriginal medical services are perceived as not sophisticated and accessed mainly by indigenous population which cannot access high-cost medication, whereas primary health care principals are greatly accepted in most developed countries though more costly (Smylie & Anderson, 2006)

Section A

Aboriginal Concept of Social and Emotional Well-Being versus Mental Health

Firstly, the aboriginal concept gives a basis that social and emotional well-being explains of the ability of an individual to or society to progress positively, live in unity and peace with their neighbors without conflict which causes emotional instability. In Australia, the term social and emotional wellbeing is used when handling indigenous population for the people to properly understanding because it reflects the way they perceive the state of health. The aboriginal concept includes cultural well-being because of the diversity of indigenous population whereas mental health is based on social factors, the environment/surrounding, monetary and physiological factors. Secondly, mental health as a single term is believed to be a constitute of social and emotional well-being just in addition to other factors such as originality(country), cultural factor, genetic factor, spiritual factor, patients' family and the general community at large (Ring & Brown, 2002).

Secondly, getting the social and emotional well-being concept as culture embracing promotes the capacity of cultural and reliable procedures for solving issues arising in the indigenous communities. This is the contrast to mental health with don't consider one's culture as a base to determine the health intervention required. Thirdly, Several factors are related to social and emotional well-being account which include loss of loved ones, rejection socially, bereavement, stress in one's life, drug abuse, child abandonment by parents and anatomical abnormalities, but not associated with mental health which is narrowly singled (Ring & Brown, 2002). The Aboriginal medical services appeared to be underpinned by primary healthcare principal such that Aboriginal medical services are offered to indigenous people by their diverse beliefs of medical intervention processes for different health conditions. It liberates on the choice of substitute medications and in contrast to primary health care with is constrained to the same response operations to achieve a healthy society.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service was mainly initiated and launched to develop a primary health care facility that is managed and controlled by locals who are the indigenous population themselves. This led to the encouragement of the people because the service given is culture considerate and so comprehended more comfortably and reliably. Also, the locals are the ones who understand well the struggles and problems in the community and hence in a better position to bring accurate and appropriate solutions to specific issues. If a single individual can be catered for well socially, mentally and culturally, it will eventually lead to social wellness working together to develop the community.

Nevertheless, Kildea (2006) explains that aboriginal medical services are usually racism-free and culture-appropriate than in primary health care because such facilities tend to appoint indigenous people as in charge of health service delivery and who are also familiarized with patients coming for treatment. There is a limited language barrier as well. This is because nowadays health activities in Australia refer to mental health as social and emotional well-being because this is the way indigenous people view about health.


Evolution of Aboriginal Medical Service

This medical service has been evolving over several years whereby it all began when indigenous population was being referred to St.Boniface Hospital and health science center leading to an important creation of some health services just for the indigenous people only due to a growing health issues. Several health professionals volunteered themselves to offer services leading to the formation of the first Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, Sydney in the year 1971. In 1973, an official request was directed to the ministers of state by the joint wealth Government to organize and deal with the affairs of the indigenous community. The activities started immediately commencing with a proposal to be granted ten years to plan for Aboriginal Health.

In 1974, a body was initiated by the name National Islander Health Organization (NAIHO) which was under Aboriginal Medical Service (Bramley, Hebert, Jackson & Chassin (2004). This was a form of motivation to the health workers from the indigenous population. In the year 1976 publishing was done to evaluate the ability and capacity at which DAA had to accomplish its duties in administering and developing the policies by the sector of Aboriginal affairs. Also in the same year, Commonwealth decided to initiate and fund a program for eyesight treatment and care. Additionally, Commonwealth delegated the body concerned to carry out a look out on Aboriginal health (Smylie & Anderson, 2006).

Progressively, in 1977 another publishing was done on Alcoholism dangers of Aboriginals. This was done in the Parliament of Australia. Due to good or bad reasons the Commonwealth joint government decided to dissolve the insurance scheme of Medibank which had been earlier on established for the sake of the accessibility of medical care by the indigenous population. This happened in the year 1978. Immediately the following year the Aboriginal Health report was launched by the Australian government. After that, in the year 1980, there was much progress whereby the report on the eyesight treatment and care was completed and launched by The Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologist. Furthermore, in the same year, a commission body was formed whereby its first objective was to wisely direct the leader in charge of administering justice in indigenous economic and social growth and ensuring remarkable positive changes are implemented (Aboriginal, 2013). The Program Effectiveness Review report was never released in that year because it was considered to be under another umbrella of indigenous involvement.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs (HRSCAA) had recommended in a report and raised an issue of concern about the state of the environment in which the indigenous population resided, which was full of the unhygienic condition which exposed the people to health hazards and diseases. The poor systems of power supply were also included leading to the Commonwealth to start a program on public health and fully funding it entirely. The total cost of the program added to 50 million dollars. In 1983 a prime minister of labor who was from the indigenous people was voted for to make sure services were delivered well by the worker and that they received their wages according to their work. He was also mandated to represent the laborers' voice in the Parliament upon any arising issues or complaints (Kelaher, Ferdinand & Paradies, 2014).

Some changes were noted in the next year 1984 which included some funding programs which were merged in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and after the dissolving of the other health insurance another was brought back termed as Medicare. Additionally, a Commonwealth body of Aboriginal Health Statistics came forth. This was the purpose of updating the prevalence and occurrence of health issues and recording for publishing as well as making reviews. It was called The Canberra-based Australian Institute of Health (AIH) and was mandated to develop and come up with the statistic information about the health of the indigenous individuals.

Kelaher, Ferdinand, and Paradies (2014) further explain that, due to the cultural differences, language, and skin color, in the early 1990s, the indigenous population raised to complain about them being undermined, and discriminated. This led to the urgent provision of translators under the command order from the national leaders. The languages were; Cree, Ojibway, and Oji-Cree, as well as Dene and Dakota (Smylie & Anderson, 2006). Currently, an approximation of 195,000 indigenous people is Manitoba. That is 16.7% of total population in the region. However, these people aren't able to get equal health care as other Canada citizens (Smylie & Anderson, 2006). Nearly 40% of patients in towns are present the indigenous population and are charged at much more rates at receiving the same health service s like the other Canadians. During the same time, The Racial Discrimination Act was started, to avoid the population from being discriminated by the government regarding skin color and to assure restoration of all the indigenous rights violated. A new widespread health insurance system, Medibank, was erected in place for easy access of medical services by the indigenous population (Bramley, Hebert, Jackson & Chassin, 2004).

According to Ring and Brown (2003), an Aboriginal Health strategy was formed to implement some two regional programs (Aboriginal Human Resource Initiative and Aboriginal Health Service), which were merged into one called Aboriginal Health Program. This leads to the improvement of the health of the population as well as creating an atmosphere to accommodate them and not feel like aliens. In the year 2001 the services were analyzed and reviewed, and since then the evolution has been continuously progressive and stretched out considerably around the region demanding more staff to work on interpretation duties in health centers.

More health workers were employed through the aboriginal Human Resource Initiative program which was brought up still in the same year. More emphasis was put in cultural familiarization training amongst the health workers to improve their service quality. The patients were discharged and given a plan to transmit them back to their local areas. She added that it helped see development and interaction of the programs across the region. The programs continued developing as the indigenous population continued to receive more competent cultural services (Ring & Brown, 2003).

Section C

Application of SEWD in Aboriginal Community today

The areas in the world today with primary health care have tried to constitute the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) in their activities. This has given a voice to indigenous population which has come out even participating in delivering the services. Initially, the government's authority suppressed the Aboriginal Medical Services leaving the people feeling undermined and discriminated (Kildea, 2006). In Australia, Aboriginal people claim to experience an improvement in health outcomes since freedom from colonization because of their cultural trends. The minister for Aboriginal Affairs fought for the rights of the Aboriginal community and the fact that they needed to be the ones in control of their issues and cares. This led to approximately a hundred and fifty Aboriginal Communities in charge of their health affairs.

Additionally, Kildea (2006) explains that development of ACCHS has helped in dissolving barriers that were initially a blockage of the indigenous population receiving care. This is because they could not acquire health care adequately due to mostly high medical cost and sometimes lack of fare to the main health facilities and if they succeeded accessing, there was a lot of language barrier issues and even experiencing discriminated by health workers from the mainstream sector. The outcome was so traumatizing whereby the maternal and infant death rate was high amongst the indigenous population, also the increased rate of pandemics and epidemics.

Today, most health bodies and facilities have involved indigenous people in their staff members. The institutions have tried to embrace and respect some of their cultural activities. This has really expanded the number of them attending medical care. Statistics show the recent decrease in disease and infections as well as cases of safe pregnancy and delivery amongst the population. Furthermore, ACCHS has invented health campaigns as per arising issue in the community. The examples include good nutrition practices, fight against drug abuse by educating on its risks, giving information on sex practices and safety measures to be taken, educating on the importance of precaution through getting the vaccination. This has brought awareness hence improving the general health of the indigenous community (Frideres & Gadacz, 2005). The progressive changes assist in the evaluation and improving in noted areas for better future activities.

Despite the fact that ACCHS is taking roots today and thriving, there are some challenges experienced on the ground that needs intervention. Firstly, the corruption behind the funding whereas the known-indigenous sector receives more financial support that indigenous sector hence even gapping the quality of health services the two groups receive. Secondly, there is the shortage of indigenous employees in the indigenous health facilities to offer culture related services hence calling for more staff availability. Thirdly, it also somehow hard to lure and get permanent medical practitioners, therefore, leading to the shortage of care givers which is a very sensitive challenge (Aboriginal, 2013). The latter problem is commonly experienced in undeveloped rural areas. Fourthly, some areas receive less medical care resources and this lead to the people receiving inadequately poor services.


Aboriginal, E. (2013). Reports indicate that changes are needed to close the gap for Indigenous health. Med J Aust, 199, 737-738.

Bramley, D., Hebert, P., Jackson, R. T., & Chassin, M. (2004). Indigenous disparities in disease-specific mortality, a cross-country comparison: New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Frideres, J. S., & Gadacz, R. R. (2005). Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Contemporary conflicts. Prentice Hall Canada.

Kelaher, M. A., Ferdinand, A. S., & Paradies, Y. (2014). Experiencing racism in health care: the mental health impacts for Victorian Aboriginal communities. The Medical journal of Australia, 201(1), 44-47.

Kildea, S. (2006). Risky business: contested knowledge over safe birthing services for Aboriginal women. Health Sociology Review, 15(4), 387-396.

Ring, I. T., & Brown, N. (2002). Indigenous health: chronically inadequate responses to damning statistics. Medical Journal of Australia, 177(11/12), 629-632.

Ring, I., & Brown, N. (2003). The health status of indigenous peoples and others: The gap is narrowing in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, but a lot more is needed. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 327(7412), 404.

Smylie, J., & Anderson, M. (2006). Understanding the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada: key methodological and conceptual challenges. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 175(6), 602-602.

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