Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative (AIMhi)

This project aimed to improve outcomes for remote Indigenous clients of mental health services in remote Top End communities over five years. Two key interventions were planned over the five years: development of two-way mental health promotion resources (for health professionals, clients and carers) and development of new approaches to service delivery.

The primary objectives of the AIMhi project were:

  • improved primary care management of mental disorders in remote Indigenous communities
  • improved specialist service delivery to residents of remote communities
  • improved mental health literacy of residents and service providers in remote Indigenous communities
  • increased capacity to manage mental illness within communities
  • development of a research team focused on Indigenous mental health in the Northern Territory
  • enhanced capacity of Northern Territory Indigenous researchers in the field of mental health
  • production of practice guidelines for the management of mental illness in Indigenous communities
  • improved data collection and use relevant to Indigenous mental health.

The Northern Territory project entailed:

  • a story-telling project—development of culturally appropriate mental health tools, 2003–08
  • Remote Service Provider survey 2003 and follow up, 2007
  • randomised controlled trial of a brief intervention, 2003–07
  • service provider training in care planning and brief interventions, 2006–07
  • development of mental health audit for ABCDE project, 2005–06
  • development of pictorial assessment and treatment tools, 2003–07.

The Lowitja Institute funded the updating of training resources (completed July 2011).

Related resources:
  • Nagel, T. & Thompson, C., The Central Role of Aboriginal Families in Motivational Counselling: Family support and family ‘humbug’, Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin, January–March 2010.
  • Nagel, T. 2004, ‘Rural News: Update from the NT’, Australasian Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 425–7.
  • Fact Sheet: Caring for Indigenous People with Mental Illness PDF  (March 2008)
  • AIMhi has produced a wealth of resources for talking about and treating Indigenous mental health issues. These include flipcharts, care plans, journal articles, pamphlets, and stories of recovery.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.