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Informing First Australian conceptualisations of holistic health and its role in suicide prevention

PhD thesis scholarship co-funded with Griffith University

Leda Barnett

This PhD thesis is an exploration of the way in which a community understands the suicide of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the intention of informing a holistic response that features healing over time as opposed to discrete episodes of intervention. Investigating the lived experience of suicidality among Australia’s First Peoples in the Mackay community, with reference to a recent suicide cluster in the community, will inform the ongoing development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander conceptualisation of a model of holistic health. Building on the current knowledge base of Indigenous suicidality, this investigation will make significant contributions to the conceptual understanding of holistic health and life through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing. This will inform the practice of individuals participating in the improvement of another’s wellbeing by providing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander model of holistic health.

Leda is a registered psychologist and a member of both the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). She has extensive experience working with clients on issues that affect everyday living and relationships. Leda’s experience encompasses working in urban, regional and rural regions, including Aboriginal communities. Her educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), a Bachelor of Education (Primary), and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours). Leda has many years of experience in the health sector and has published on Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous women with disabilities, chronic disease management and suicide in Australian Aboriginal communities. Her experience as a psychologist and in Indigenous research have allowed her to explore the meaning of holistic health in Australian Aboriginal culture and its relationship with the Western medical system.

Created: 06 February 2018 - Updated: 20 September 2018