Published: 18 October 2016
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia experience a disproportionately high rate of mental health problems, including suicide, hospitalisation and substance misuse. It's therefore very important that appropriate supports and services are in place to address this. The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW, which provides services to people with severe mental illnesses, has just launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community is a long cherished hope. Taking a practical step that should inspire others, SFNSW has just had its first RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, the national organisation promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community.
The Fellowship's vision for reconciliation is to create an environment of mutual respect, social justice and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with mental illness. The Fellowship employs around 240 people, including 15 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, in 54 locations across the state. As well as providing services to people with severe mental illnesses, it also supports family members and carers.
Endorsement is the beginning of an on-going journey, says SFNSW CEO Rob Ramjan AM. The Fellowship has convened a working group of staff from throughout the state to champion the reconciliation process. They will work with local First Nations communities to check that the Fellowship's activities remain appropriate and to promote strong relations and enhanced respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
More information on Reconciliation Australia
What is RAP
Who has RAP
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