Rationale and description of an innovative resilience-building project to promote mental health for indigenous job seekers

Ian M. Shochet, Coral L. Smith, Colette R Roos, Atrid Wurfl, Bethany Mackay, Tracy Robinson, Nick Power, Nerida King, Janelle Whitehead, Shane Edwards, Brett Ashby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Indigenous Australians experience higher rates of mental illness and unemployment than their non-Indigenous counterparts, prompting the development and implementation of interventions promoting mental health for Indigenous job seekers. This article reviews the literature supporting a strength-focused resilience approach and describes a resilience-based intervention being implemented and evaluated with Indigenous job seekers in rural New South Wales. An appropriate intervention must be consistent with Indigenous perspectives and have Indigenous ownership. A strength-focused resilience-building approach aligns with Indigenous perspectives of mental health, recognising the capacity for resilience that Indigenous people have demonstrated in the face of great stress and trauma. It is also consistent with the paradigm shift in mental health promotion emphasising emotional wellbeing and a salutagenic framework. Furthermore, a strengths-based approach may be more widely disseminated, can inform the provision of appropriate services to a vulnerable and underserviced community, and helps avoid the negative iatrogenic effects of stigma and disempowerment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Australian Indigenous Issues
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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