Building Bridges: Co-designing engagement with Aboriginal youth

August 2017

Dr Michael Wright (Lead Investigator)
Ms Nikayla Crisp
Ms Tiana Culbong

Other investigators: 

Dr Ashleigh Lin, Telethon Kids Institute, UWA
Mr Glenn Pearson, Telethon Kids Institute, UWA

Project description: 

The disparity in health and wellbeing outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians continues unabated. In particular, the high incidence of self-harm and suicide occurring among young people is of deep concern for Aboriginal communities. The aim of this project is to develop a unique intervention that increases the engagement of Aboriginal young people with youth mental health services and builds better relationships between the Aboriginal community and services to sustain long-term partnerships.

Building Bridges is the latest project to emerge from the Looking Forward Project and utilises the Minditj Kaart-Moorditj Kaart Framework. The project brings Nyoongar Elders, Nyoongar young people, youth mental health services, and advocacy and policy partners together to co-design a way for services to better engage Aboriginal young people. Through a process of storytelling and yarning the group will work together to develop an intervention, implement it within local services, and evaluate its effectiveness. The Building Bridges project has the potential to offer a new way of working and act as a catalyst for change in the way that youth mental health services respond to the needs and priorities of Aboriginal young people.