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Activity 2 - Improving mental health and wellbeing outcomes for young Indigenous people and supporting suicide prevention in remote communities.

Intended result

Target Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) investment and effort to improve Indigenous youth mental health and suicide prevention outcomes in high risk communities that are co-designed with communities, culturally appropriate and linked to other relevant activities.

Performance

measure

Proportion of 12 high risk communities having received Mental health First Aid

(MHFA) training workshops.

Methodology

Assessment of training workshops data.

Target

50 per cent of high risk communities received training.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–20, Page 10.

Performance

result

Achieved

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA training was delivered in six (out of

12) high risk communities in 2019–20 (Woorabinda; Karratha/Roebourne; Murray Bridge; Darwin; Galiwin’ku and Redfern/La Perouse).

Analysis

Fifty-eight MhFA high Risk location workshops were held in high risk communities during 2019–20. This includes 39 workshops in Woorabinda; Karratha/Roebourne; Murray Bridge; Darwin; Galiwin’ku and Redfern/La Perouse, and 19 workshops in other communities that were carried over from an earlier phase of MhFA delivery. The completion rate for the six high risk locations in the 2019–20 performance measure was 80.76 per cent. See Table 3.1 below for breakdown for all high risk communities in 2019–20, and by jurisdiction.

Face to face delivery of MhFA training ceased in March 2020 due to COvID-19 and associated travel and physical distancing restrictions. Twenty workshops that were originally scheduled for delivery in March to June 2020 will be delivered, when possible, in 2020–21.

To allow for the continuation of training during COvID-19, MhFA Australia, who NIAA engage to develop course materials, launched a new blended online delivery format for the MhFA course, as well as a new blended online ‘Mental health Yarns’ course in July 2020. Both new online courses are delivered as a combination of self-paced interactive e-learning, followed by an instructor-led videoconference. They have been developed for delivery by instructors who have local knowledge and established local relationships, to ensure participant safety.

Intended result

Target Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) investment and effort to improve Indigenous youth mental health and suicide prevention outcomes in high risk communities that are co-designed with communities, culturally appropriate and linked to other relevant activities.

Performance

measure

Number of MhFA workshops delivered to frontline workers funded under the IAS.

Methodology

Assessment of training workshops data.

Target

50 of the 100 MhFA workshops delivered in 2019–20.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–20, Page 10.

Performance

result

Not achieved

21 MhFA Frontline workshops were delivered during 2019–20.

Analysis

MhFA workshops were held with frontline workers including rangers, night patrol and Remote School Attendance Strategy and Community Development Program workers across the NT, Queensland and WA. The completion rate

for these workshops averaged 87.13 per cent. See Table 3.1 below for jurisdictional breakdown.

Delivery of MhFA workshops for frontline workers was on track to meet its target in 2019–20, however delays were unavoidable due to COvID-19. Of the 50 workshops that were scheduled for delivery to frontline workers:

  • 21 were successfully delivered;
  • 11 were scheduled but postponed due to COvID-19 restrictions; and
  • 18 were in the planning stage, and anticipated to be delivered during the remainder of 2019–20.

All delayed workshops are to be delivered as soon as possible in the later part of 2020–21.

Intended result

Co-design and deliver youth cultural activities aimed at suicide prevention for Indigenous young people in high risk locations.

Performance

measure

Deliver youth cultural activities in 12 high risk communities co-designed with local young Indigenous people, communities, and key stakeholders.

Methodology

Assessment of youth cultural activities.

Evaluation to assess effectiveness of delivery, outcomes and scalability beyond initial 12 locations.

Target

12 target locations identified, with community consultation undertaken and

co-design process initiated.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–20, Page 10.

Performance

result

Not achieved

COvID-19 has delayed community consultation and co-design of this measure, as well as appointment of an evaluator to develop a monitoring and evaluation strategy.

Analysis

Minister Wyatt agreed to an implementation approach for the measure, including a list of 12 communities to be announced following community consultation.

Community engagement will commence once COvID-19 restrictions are lifted when it is safe to do so, or via telecommunication if deemed appropriate.

Consultation is expected to have begun in all 12 communities by December 2020. Cultural activities in each community will be co-designed with youth and elders to meet their needs.

The NIAA will appoint a skilled evaluator to work with communities to develop a monitoring and evaluation strategy.

Table 3.1: Mental Health First Aid Training Delivery and Completion Rates 2019–20

Jurisdiction

High Risk Locations

Frontline Workshops

Total

Number of Workshops

Completion Rate — per cent

Number of Workshops

Completion Rate — per cent

Number of Workshops

Completion Rate — per cent

NSW

4

91.89

-

-

4

91.89

NT

19

79.42

15

87.59

34

83.54

QLD

4

62.07

2

90.48

6

69.62

SA

17

85.54

-

-

17

85.54

WA

14

69.46

4

84.29

18

73.26

Total

58

78.09

21

87.13

79

80.92

Data includes workshops in high risk locations that were scheduled for delivery in 2019–20 (39), as well as workshops completed in 2019–20 that had been scheduled in the previous financial year and delayed (19).

Case Study - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid

“…the content was relevant, easy to understand and very interesting. I actually expanded my knowledge and skills with this course. Great job and I fully encourage everybody to do this course” – Clarence Valley, NSW 20 November 2019.

During 2019–20, the NIAA provided $6.555 million for the development and delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA) training, including $0.296 million to Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA Australia) to develop course content and train instructors, and $6.259 million to NESA People Solutions for the delivery of training across Australia.

In 2019–20, AMHFA training was delivered face-to-face by NESA People Solutions to 1190 participants through 79 workshops in 35 locations across Australia. Training was delivered in 17 high-risk locations as well as to frontline workers nationally such as Remote School Attendance Strategy, Community Development Program, Community Night Patrol workers and rangers. An overall 81 per cent completion was recorded across all workshops. At least 49 additional workshops would have taken place had COVID-19 delays not occurred, with an estimated 735 participants.

The success of the project is underpinned by the co-design model. NESA People Solutions invests 12 weeks in community engagement in the high-risk communities before training commences, to involve the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and stakeholders in the design and delivery of their allocated workshops. Local interpreters and cultural facilitators are engaged where required to ensure that all learning material is understood.

Key outcomes:

  • 88 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members completed the MHFA accreditation training.
  • 99 per cent of participants would recommend this training to other people.
  • An increase from 36 per cent to 78 per cent of participants felt that after completing the course that they could recognise the signs of mental health issues (based on pre and post-training surveys).
  • An increase from 25 per cent to 72 per cent of participants felt that after completing the course that they could approach, assess and assist with any crisis (based on pre and post-training surveys).

In March 2020, COVID-19 disrupted the delivery of 29 scheduled face-to-face courses. All suspended workshops are currently being discussed with providers to determine new delivery dates in 2020–21.

MHFA Australia responded quickly and developed two new online courses to support the mental health of Indigenous Australians during the pandemic: ‘Mental Health Yarns’ and an online version of the adult MHFA course. These were piloted in June for roll-out in July 2020.

NESA People Solutions developed and disseminated COVID-19 information packs for communities in each jurisdiction, including how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, state and territory specific information on where to access support, and suggestions for maintaining wellbeing and mental health.

Frontline workshops provide training to community members employed as rangers, night patrol, Remote School Attendance Strategy and Community Development Program workers to assist with those roles. Training in high risk locations is delivered to community members more broadly, where there is an identified greater risk of suicide, self-harm and mental health issues in the community. Training in high risk locations includes a training program to support the community develop its capacity to reduce the impact of mental health issues on its members.

11 workshop participants holding their certificates with the two NESA Trainers.
Galiwin’ku MHFA Workshop 3-5 December 2019: L-R Front Row: Peter Humphries (NESA Trainer), Terry Gondarra, Jeffery Dhamarrandji, Quentin Guthitjpuy, Nicole Dhurrkay, Rosalie Kickett (NESA Trainer). Back Row: John Tom, Carl Bulurrpulurr, William Campbell, Daisy Wulumu, Joy Mundhu, Nancy Gondarra, Joan Dhamarrandji.