Postcolonial Traumatic Stresses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Mick Adams, Kootsy Canuto, Neil Drew, Jesse John Fleay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in Australia is often misunderstood, mainly because it has been poorly researched. When analyzing the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males, it is crucial to consider the associated factors that have directly and indirectly contributed to their poor health and wellbeing, that is, the effects of colonization, the interruption of cultural practices, displacement of societies, taking away of traditional homelands and forceful removal of children (assimilation and other policies). The displacement of families and tribal groups from their country broke up family groups and caused conflict between the original inhabitants of the lands and dislocated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribal groups. These dislocated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were forced to reside on the allocated government institutions where they would be (allegedly) protected. Whilst in the institutions they were made to comply with the authority rules and were forbidden to practice or participate in their traditional rituals or customs or speak their own tribal languages. Additionally, the dispossession from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional lands and the destruction of culture and political, economic, and social structures have caused many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a pervading sense of hopelessness for the future. The traditional customs and life cycles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males were permanently affected by colonization adversely contributing to mental health problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In this article we aim to provide a better understanding of the processes impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males' social and emotional wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-263
Journalab-Original
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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