5 research outputs found

    Indigeneity and likelihood of discharge to psychiatric hospital in an Australian deliberate self-poisoning hospital-treated cohort

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    Hospital-treated self-harm rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) people are at least double those for other Australians. Despite this, limited research has explored the relationship between Indigeneity and the clinical management of hospital-treated deliberate self-harm. A retrospective clinical cohort study (2003–2012) at a regional referral centre (NSW) for deliberate self-poisoning was used to explore the magnitude and direction of the relationship between Indigeneity and discharge destination (psychiatric hospital vs. other) using a series of logistic regressions. There were 149 (4%) Indigenous and 3697 (96%) non-Indigenous deliberate self-poisoning admissions during the study period. One-third (31%) were referred to the psychiatric hospital at discharge; Indigenous 21% (n = 32) vs. non-Indigenous 32% (n = 1175). Those who identified as Indigenous were less likely to be discharged to the psychiatric hospital, OR 0.59 (0.40–0.87) at the univariate level, with little change after sequential adjustment; and AOR 0.34 (0.21–0.73) in the fully adjusted model. The Indigenous cohort had a lower likelihood of psychiatric hospital discharge even after adjustment for variables associated with discharge to the psychiatric hospital highlighting the need for further investigation of the reasons accounting for this differential pattern of clinical management and the effectiveness of differential after-care allocation

    Bicultural practice in the Northern Territory children and families sector

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    This paper presents the results of a qualitative research project aimed to better understand the key elements of promising bicultural practice in the Northern Territory children and families sector.Findings were used to inform the development of a two-way practice framework that can be used by a range of government and non-government organisations.Parental substance misuse, mental health problems and domestic violence are described as “key risk factors” for child abuse and neglect that often occur together as part of a complex set of social and family issues. In the Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal practitioners are working together to support families experiencing these multi-faceted issues. Developing effective working partnerships involves understanding the process of developing cultural competence as a ‘two-way street’.This collaborative project was conducted as a partnership between the Centre for Child Development and Education (CCDE) at Menzies School of Health Research and SAF,T (meaning Strong Aboriginal Families, Together), the NT peak body for children, youth and families. Organisations (six Aboriginal and three mainstream organisations) delivering services in remote, regional and urban settings across both the Top End and Central Australia were profiled. In total, 74 participants, including chief executive officers, human resource managers, operational managers and frontline practitioners were interviewed. Approximately half (48%) of these participants were Aboriginal

    Modelling key drivers of school education outcomes

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    This chapter aims to unify the work of previous chapters in developing a deeper understanding of the complex interactions of children’s early life circumstances, pre-school program exposure, developmental readiness for school learning and subsequent academic outcomes. Establishing the relative contribution of these influences in shaping children’s educational progress is vital to the development and effective targeting of policy to enable population-level improvements in children’s educational outcomes

    Social and emotional education with Australian Year 7 and 8 middle school students : A pilot study

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    Objective: This pilot study sought to better understand what can be achieved by an evidence-based classroom social and emotional education programme. Design and Methods: A 10-lesson, classroom-based programme that taught about emotional literacy, personal strengths, coping and problem-solving strategies, stress management, emotional regulation and support seeking was provided to 56 students in Years 7 (13 years) and 8 (14 years) in an Australian middle school. Teachers were trained to deliver the programme, with participatory modelling of each activity. Before and after delivery of the programme, students were surveyed for their social and emotional wellbeing using the Kessler 10 (K10) instrument for non-specific psychological distress; the ‘Internal Assets’, ‘School Resources’ and ‘Cooperation and Communication’ questions from the Resilience and Youth Development Module (RYDM) of the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS); and questions developed for this study on class connectedness and social and emotional skills. Subsequent to programme completion, focus groups were conducted with teachers and participating students to gauge programme fidelity, utility and engagement. Results: There was an improvement in psychological distress that approached significance (t = 2, df = 42, p = .053), although the symptomatic score remained in the range indicative of medium-level distress. Cooperation and communication improved significantly (t = −2.34, df = 42, p = .024) as did class connectedness (t = −2.46, df = 43, p = .018). There was no change in individual resilience factors, school protective factors, or social and emotional skills. The focus groups were generally positive about the programme, but indicated fidelity was compromised, mainly because the lesson periods were too short. Conclusion: While this small-scale pilot study has a number of limitations, it does indicate the need to improve the psychological wellbeing of middle school students. The findings also provide evidence that brief social and emotional education programmes can have some positive effects

    Enhancing social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal boarding students: Evaluation of a social and emotional learning pilot program

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    Boarding schools can provide quality secondary education for Aboriginal students from remote Aboriginal Australian communities. However, transition into boarding school is commonly challenging for Aboriginal students as they need to negotiate unfamiliar cultural, social and learning environments whilst being separated from family and community support. Accordingly, it is critical for boarding schools to provide programs that enhance the social and emotional skills needed to meet the challenges. This study evaluated a 10-session social and emotional learning (SEL) program for Aboriginal boarders and identified contextual factors influencing its effectiveness. The study combined a pre-post quantitative evaluation using diverse social and emotional wellbeing measures with 28 students between 13-15 years (10 female, 11 male, 7 unidentified) and qualitative post focus groups with 10 students and episodic interviews with four staff delivering the program. Students' social and emotional skills significantly improved. The qualitative findings revealed improvements in students seeking and giving help, working in groups, managing conflict, being assertive and discussing cultural issues. The focus groups and interviews also identified program elements that worked best and that need improvement. Secure relationships with staff delivering the program and participation in single sex groups stood out as critical enablers. The findings lend evidence to the critical importance of collaborative design, provision and evaluation of SEL programs with Aboriginal peoples