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Curtin University of Technology
Building Mental Wealth Building Mental Wealth
Untitled Document

Dr Julia Anwar McHenry

Scoping study for an Indigenous mental health promotion project.

The positive aspects of Indigenous mental health are often neglected in light of the more immediate and dire needs of extreme crisis (e.g. suicide) stemming from the persistent and severe imbalance of risk and protective factors. A reduction of risk factors is crucial, but needs to be done in conjunction with the strengthening of protective factors and a concerted wellbeing emphasis to counter dominant illness discourses. Yet, the growing evidence base for mental health promotion remains underdeveloped for Indigenous groups worldwide.

This scoping project aims to assess the feasibility and provide the groundwork for the development of an Indigenous positive mental health promotion intervention with Aboriginal people in Western Australia. The research will contribute to the body of knowledge on Indigenous mental health by addressing important gaps in what is known about the experience of social and emotional wellbeing and the behaviours that foster and maintain good mental health among Aboriginal people. The findings will form the basis for a proposal to relevant funding bodies for a pilot intervention in selected communities across Western Australia.

Publications
Donovan, R. J., & Anwar-McHenry, J. (2014). Act-Belong-Commit: Lifestyle Medicine for Keeping Mentally Healthy. (in
press) Journal of American Lifestyle Medicine. 8(1), 33-42.
Anwar McHenry, J. (2013). Addressing the calls for evidence in arts and health: a quantitative approach to understanding the
role of the arts in the wellbeing of the Mid West region of Western Australia. UNESCO Observatory E-Journal, 3(3),
[online] web.education.unimelb.edu.au/UNESCO/ejournal/ejournal_vol3iss3.html
Anwar McHenry, J. (2013). Unique challenges in developing capacity in rural and remote Australia: arts utility in growing
rural and remote places. In J.B. Laewen (Ed.) Capacity Development: Perspectives, Opportunities, and Challenges (pp55
78). New York: Nova Science Publishers.