The impact of AOD on the Social & Emotional Wellbeing of ATSI Individuals, Families and Communities
Alcohol and other Drugs addiction has a direct link to trauma. An evolving pandemic; it has impacted the health, behaviors and well-being of Aboriginal individuals, families and communities since its introduction. Understanding the impact of colonization which has led to cultural and spiritual disconnection as well as the social and emotional wellbeing challenges experienced by many; we see, how the current generation have been impacted by the past injustices faced by their ancestors. This has led to a profound intergenerational trauma, quite often addressed and mediated by Alcohol and other drugs. In addition, this intergenerational trauma continues to have a psychological and physical impact upon Aboriginal Families to this day.
Alcohol and drug consumption in Aboriginal communities is epidemic, which has perpetuated itself in a vicious cycle of poverty leading to poor health outcomes and a lack of access to many services. These include complex health needs, homelessness, lack of or poor education, unemployment, risk taking behaviour, and a broader range of problems resulting from grief and loss, trauma and abuse, violence, removal from family, cultural dislocation, racism, institutional discrimination, and social disadvantage. Social and emotional wellbeing is a holistic concept which recognises the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality, ancestry, family and community. Cultural identity and spirituality are crucial to social and emotional wellbeing. The use of cultural practices as well as self-determination, that is, supporting the community to make decisions about their own social, cultural and economic needs will have a positive impact on the psyche of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.
Aboriginal community connect is a culturally specific, trauma informed, Alcohol and other drugs service. We work from a strength-based and family and culturally focused approach to treatment by providing AOD, mental health, family and financial counselling, case management and a combination of clinical and cultural group work and activates.