Strong spirit, strong culture, strong people

Men's healing group

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal& Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with Indigenous communities to address ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families. Its work helps people create a different future. #AboriginalTalk  -  #AboriginalCounselling  -  #AboriginalCounsellors

Community healing

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, healing is a holistic process, which addresses mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs and involves connections to culture, family and land.

Healing works best when solutions are culturally strong, developed and driven at the local level, and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Healing centres

Healing centres are spaces that support healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are community owned and operated, with activities developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in response to their own healing needs.

Healing centres incorporate traditional and western practices, operate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spirituality and culture at their core and may be situated on custodial land or a site of local significance.

Men’s healing

The impact of the breakdown of Indigenous knowledge systems and undermining of the traditional role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men has resulted in our men suffering.

"We are seeing really positive results in many of areas that show that remarkable things can be achieved when you work in partnership with communities."

Women’s healing

Many of our women have played a central role in caring for our people.
Strengthening our women enables our communities to restore harmony and balance and grows our children, families and communities.

The Healing Foundation endeavours to support projects that promote healing for girls and women.

Aboriginal services:

Moorditj Yarning

Do you feel like having some space to talk about something on your mind? This is what Moorditj Yarning offers – a place and opportunity where you feel comfortable.

You don’t have to come to us. We can meet somewhere that’s good for you. That’s what we mean by “outreach”. We reach out to you and listen to what you want to say.

Wherever we meet, we make you feel welcome and respected.

Moorditj Yarning has been working closely with Aboriginal people in the Langford/Gosnells and Clarkson/Joondalup areas.

Our counsellors have strong experience working with alcohol and drug problems, other health concerns such as diabetes, family and relationship issues, grief, loss and domestic violence.

We can either meet you one-to-one or offer the chance to join one of our groups. These group meetings are informal, open to ideas – and can be fun too.

Guidelines for delivery of culturally sensitive
and flexible counselling for Indigenous carers

Project report by Louise Monahan and Chris Twining for the
Carer Counselling Program, Carers Victoria


Indigenous families and carers care for their frail elderly and those with disability, mental illness and a range of chronic illnesses and conditions.

Very few Indigenous people identify as carers, however many have significant care responsibilities.

Most are women and they are of all ages. Most care for more than one person, often for three or four generations of family members with care needs.

Caring impacts on all carers and our experience shows that it can have great and particular impact on Indigenous carers. 

Indigenous carers may experience depression, loss and grief, isolation, guilt and anger, anxiety and worry, financial hardship and lack of access to carer entitlements, worsening health and well-being, and a lack of support generally.

In addition, we know that the true history of colonisation in Australia continues to have an on-going devastating impact on Indigenous families and communities.

Genocide, dispossession, segregation, assimilation and loss of land rights are part of the context for all Indigenous Australians including those with caring responsibilities.

Furthermore, our Indigenous population is disadvantaged by a range of socio-economic factors which impact on their health.

Many Indigenous people live in an on-going situation of high stress and chronic depression suffering feelings of failure and hopelessness, and serious financial hardship.

Cultural practice resources

    » Guidelines

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

Yarning with a purpose: An Aboriginal perspective

This presentation by Carolynanha Johnson explores the ways in which she is developing culturally appropriate forms of narrative telephone counselling to assist Aboriginal people to quit smoking.

Finding ways in which narrative practices can be used in realms of physical health (as well as mental health) seems highly significant.
Thanks Carolynanha for this video!

After watching it, please join the online discussion!

Bridging cultures: psychologists working with Aboriginal clients

By Sarah Ford, InPsych feature writer

DOCTOR Tracy Westerman's childhood yearning to be a psychologist lost its edge when the young Aboriginal student began her studies in Perth.

After leaving her family in remote Western Australia to attend university, she struggled to reconcile her concept of psychology with the Western-oriented views taught in psychology courses.

"I thought 'this is not what psychology is meant to be about', because
it did not match the world view that I had been bought up with," she says.

The course made virtually no reference to non-Western cultures and she grappled to conceptualise mainstream theories in a way that was meaningful for Aboriginal people.

Nevertheless, Tracy, who is from the Nyamal group in north-western WA,
persevered to become one of a handful of Aboriginal psychologists in Australia.

Deadly Thinking

(‘Deadly’ is an Aboriginal English word for ‘fantastic’, ‘great’ or ‘awesome’.)


Deadly Thinking is a social, emotional well-being and suicide prevention program specifically designed for Indigenous communities, confronting core social and mental well-being issues in a culturally appropriate, accessible and compelling way.

A unique and effective program

Deadly Thinking is a social and emotional well-being and suicide prevention workshop designed by Indigenous people for Indigenous people.

In the context of cultural sensitivity, the one-day Deadly Thinking workshop addresses a wide range of topics including
anxiety and depression, drug abuse (in particular ‘Ice’), alcohol abuse and suicide.

Importantly, Deadly Thinking is focused on pathways to help.

Stop. Think. Respect.
Racial discrimination and mental health

~ beyondblueofficial

Being made to feel like crap just for being who you are can have a huge effect on your sense of worth.

In this video, some of the actors from our Stop. Think. Respect. campaign share their experiences of racial discrimination and the impact this has had on their mental health.

Proppa Deadly

Proppa Deadly is a project encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take action against depression and anxiety
through the telling of their own stories across the First Nations community radio sector.

Brisbane Indigenous Media Association is one of sixteen (16) participating radio stations, from metropolitan, regional and remote parts of the country, that will produce and broadcast personal stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women sharing their experience and the action each undertook to combat depression and/or anxiety.

Proppa Deadly is an initiative of beyondblue.

Click this link to read Personal Stories:

Mental health and Aboriginal people

Mental health statistics show Aboriginal people are much more likely to suffer from depression or dementia than other Australians. But mental health is worst where you wouldn’t expect it to be.