Description: How might efforts to develop appropriate suicide prevention strategies for Australian aboriginal populations be of use in addressing burgeoning issues of stress and depression among mainstream Australian farmers trying to cope with ongoing drought conditions? The answer is also of relevance to issues I raised in my previous post regarding taking on the challenge of indigenizing Canadian psychology and Psychology in general. Before you read the article linked below think for a moment about the issues of Australian Aboriginal mental health, drought, and non-aboriginal Australian farmer mental health might be tied together from a Psychological perspective. Once you have reflected on this for a moment have a read through the article and keep an open mind as you do so as it introduces concepts and perspectives that are both challenging and transformational to our mainstream Western Psychological perspectives. In other words, reading the linked article could be a mind-expanding experience.
Source: How an Aboriginal approach to mental health is helping farmers deal with drought, Georgina Kenyon, Mosaic.
Date: April 23, 2019
Photo Credit: Camilla Perkins for Mosaic (mosaicscience.com)
In my previous post I talked about how Psychology’s understanding of what is involved in human development, mental health/healing, and wellbeing is limited to a mainstream point individualistic point of view which limits our ability to effectively engage with indigenous people and to understand core aspect of their development, mental health/healing, and wellbeing. The article linked above does two things. First it provides a rich example of how such understandings can be developed from within a more diverse Psychology and it shows how that sort of understanding can expand and enrich our understand of and positive engagement with individuals (farmers) suffering Psychologically from the deep and broad impact of an ongoing drought. Aboriginal perspectives on the relationships between people and the environment (the land, their land) usefully broadens our understanding of the ways we are connected to the world and to the Psychological consequences of environmental crisis. …. Time to learn about solastalgia, ganma and yarning.
Questions for Discussion:
- What are solastalgia, ganma and yarning?
- How do your definitions of the terms above rely on an understanding of cultural diversity?
- How do the terms noted above and a proper understand of them inform clinical approaches to understanding and assisting with Psychological reactions to environmental crisis?
References (Read Further):
Gibson, C., Crockett, J., Dudgeon, P., Bernoth, M., & Lincoln, M. (2018). Sharing and valuing older Aboriginal people’s voices about social and emotional wellbeing services: a strength-based approach for service providers. Aging & mental health, 1-8. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13607863.2018.1544220?journalCode=camh20
Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/who-we-are/reconciliation-and-the-APS/Australian-Indigenous-Psychology-Education-Project
Lin, I., Green, C., & Bessarab, D. (2016). ‘Yarn with me’: applying clinical yarning to improve clinician–patient communication in Aboriginal health care. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 22(5), 377-382. https://www.publish.csiro.au/PY/pdf/PY16051
Glenn Albrecht (2012), The age of solastalgia, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/the-age-of-solastalgia-8337
We-Yarn – Quirindi, Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, https://www.crrmh.com.au/event/we-yarn-quirindi/
Rigby, C. W., Rosen, A., Berry, H. L., & Hart, C. R. (2011). If the land’s sick, we’re sick:* The impact of prolonged drought on the social and emotional well‐being of Aboriginal communities in rural New South Wales. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 19(5), 249-254. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1440-1584.2011.01223.x