Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

The Vulnerability of Indigenous Australian Teenagers

Their local communities recognize Indigenous Australians as descended from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Compared to other Australians, they reside in distant places and makeup 2.4% of the country’s population. Indigenous Australians are more likely to have mental health issues than the broader Australian population. Their mental and social health is increasingly being recognised as significant societal issues. Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have had differing levels of mental health from the beginning of time. For research, preventative measures, and health services, this has to be prioritised. This discussion will explore how indigenous Australians’ teenagers’ mental health concerns affect each person, their family, and the larger society. The role of a registered nurse in the Australian healthcare system will also be covered, including cultural understanding, knowledge, sensitivity, and respect for other people in terms of expectations for care and health practices.

Role Played by Nurses in Handling Mental Health

Nurses in the multicultural Australian healthcare system provide nursing care and psychological support (Huang, Pun, & Huang, 2022). Cultural considerations are essential in treating Indigenous Australians with mental illness (Huang, Pun, & Huang, 2022). Hence, Indigenous mental health nursing calls for culturally appropriate and secure care (Brockie et al., 2023). In order to work with cultural competency, nurses must learn about Indigenous Australian culture (Brockie et al., 2023). Learn about their culture and apply it for a therapeutic approach (Brockie et al., 2023). Nurses must comprehend the subtleties of their culture (Brockie et al., 2023). Furthermore, nurses need to have enough cultural education.

Nurses should assess their abilities to get nursing care and develop their skills. The role of nurses in bridging cultural divides is communication. There is a need for indigenous health system mental health promotion and research (Brockie et al., 2023). The teaching of cultural sensitivity to patients with mental illness is effective. Second, nurses should provide culturally sensitive treatment for Indigenous people’s mental health (Barr, Wynaden, & Heslop, 2019). Cultural sensitivity refers to the social, political, and cultural barriers that exist between Australians of Indigenous and non-Indigenous descent (Barr, Wynaden, & Heslop, 2019). Racism is a significant contributor to indigenous mental illness (Barr, Wynaden, & Heslop, 2019). The objective of mental health services is to eliminate racism from professional practice, engage Indigenous Australians, and collaborate for the most outstanding health outcomes (Barr, Wynaden, & Heslop, 2019).

Health Outcomes

Teenagers of Parents that are Affected by Drug and Alcohol use

According to studies, parents or guardians may find it more challenging to satisfy teens’ emotional, changing, and physical needs in the short and long term if they abuse alcohol or other substances (Fitzpatrick et al., 2017). The mental health of teens may be negatively impacted by drug use during pregnancy, which can lead to developmental delays and long-term developmental issues. Drug usage impacts a parent’s capacity to relate productively with their kid or children by causing them to adopt a strict parenting approach (Fisher et al., 2016). Due to parental inability to arbitrate and monitor dangerous situations, teenagers of parents who have used drugs or alcohol may now be exposed to damage by their parents. Domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and child separation from parents are other effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Around 8.3% of all diseases in the community are caused by alcohol usage, and this percentage is highest among Aboriginal people (Fitzpatrick et al., 2017).

According to a 2019 study published in the journal “Drug and Alcohol Dependence,” indigenous Australian adolescents whose parents have alcohol problems are more likely to develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder than those whose parents do not have alcohol problems. The study, which surveyed 273 indigenous Australian adolescents ages 12 to 17, revealed that teenagers with alcoholic parents were more likely to experience a variety of adverse outcomes, including higher stress levels, relatively poor school performance, and increased participation in risky behaviors such as smoking and substance use. The research also revealed that indigenous Australian adolescents living in rural regions were likelier to have adverse outcomes than those living in urban settings.

Consequently, of all the ailments that impacted indigenous people, drug and substance addiction accounted for approximately 3.7% of the diseases (Ramjan et al., 2016). Drug and alcohol abuse causes health issues because it prevents people from living healthy lives, leading to various health issues. Alcohol misuse and substance abuse can cause an unstable mental state (Valeggia & Snodgrass, 2015). Teenage children will be impacted because they are not receiving enough attention from their parents when a parent who uses drugs becomes unwell from using drugs and alcohol, making it impossible for them to care for their kids as they should. Due to their parent’s inability to monitor daily activities, and emotional and mental status, teenagers are likely to experience a variety of negative consequences, including abusing drugs and poor academic performance.

Health Disparity Affecting Aboriginal People


The institutional authority of White Anglo-Australians allows them to transform discriminatory beliefs into behaviors and policies (Kirmayer & Brass, 2016). Compared to non-Aboriginals, Aboriginal people are more likely to encounter discrimination in the workplace, educational system, housing, and health care system, where they are less likely to get specialized care alternatives and adequate care services. Racism also impacts Aboriginal people since they collectively recall and have experienced dispossession, insensitivity, and memory abuse (Cameron et al., 2014). Since they contain white Australians’ entitlement and methods they may use to manage their resources and affairs to their benefit, current policies are a byproduct of colonial actions that have impacted non-indigenous people’s perception of how things are or should be (Browne, 2017).

Policy Makers

Centre for Aboriginal Health

The New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health has an organization dedicated to improving the health of the state’s indigenous people called the Centre for Aboriginal Health (CAH). The mission of the Aboriginal Health Centre is to improve the health of Aboriginal people by working in conjunction with other organisations to create a healthcare system that is both culturally sensitive and responsive (Thomas, Bainbridge & Tsey, 2014). CAH’s mission is to strengthen the regional healthcare system by prioritising the desires and requirements of the region’s indigenous population. It includes educating the system on the social factors that influence health, the current effects of government practices and policies, and the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal people in the areas of employment, housing, education, as well as discrimination, all of which have a knock-on effect on parents’ access to and provision of high-quality health care for their adolescents. Among CAH’s many responsibilities are:

  • The promotion of integrated planning and service delivery, as well as building trust among indigenous people via cooperation.
  • Healthcare workers can do their jobs well only if they feel secure providing care to patients of various backgrounds.
  • Last but not least, CAH is there to improve accountability, monitoring, and performance management systems.

By serving in these capacities, the CAH helps the Australian government better understand the needs of indigenous Australian teenagers and tailor assistance programs to those communities. The CAH fosters a reliable relationship between indigenous people and medical professionals. When there is mutual respect between indigenous people and medical staff, it is much simpler to establish a secure workplace for the staff. As Native people would have access to high-quality medical care, they will be able to enjoy longer, healthier lives.


The Centre for Aboriginal Health must explore how other health variables affect indigenous Australian teens’ health. Teens’ well-being and health rely on their social lives, psychological development, cultural heritage, and spirituality. Trauma and stress affect most Aboriginal teenagers, whose health relies on psychological development (Goodman et al., 2017). Some indigenous adolescents were imprisoned and abused before they could play freely or enjoy childhood (Hunt et al., 2015). To effectively serve Aboriginal children, nurses should be aware of culturally acceptable healthcare treatments that enable kids to grow within their families and communities. As family beliefs and Aboriginal history may influence teens’ spiritual experiences, treatment should concentrate on their viewpoint. By learning about the cultural origins of children and teens, nurses may treat indigenous and non-indigenous individuals equally without discrimination. So, nurses should learn about indigenous children’s cultures to handle them better. When nurses treat them properly, they will live healthy lives like other Australians. To achieve this, the Australian government should hire indigenous teenager-experienced nurses. Nurses will help individuals change their lifestyles to prevent health problems. Nurses will also help local people check their diets and avoid unhealthy foods.


Nurses who take the time to learn about indigenous cultures will be better able to engage in therapeutic and professional contact with indigenous adolescents. This will sustain, resolve, and grow professional-personal relationships. The “Therapeutic and professional connection” criteria will help me assess indigenous teens’ vulnerability and deliver patient-centered treatment. Nurses must enhance their knowledge of the indigenous adolescent vulnerability to minimize newborn and child death rates. Indigenous children and teens are Australia’s most economically and socially disadvantaged population. Their overrepresentation harms their emotional and social development and other health markers. Local authorities and the government must understand the Aboriginal culture to enhance health services. The government may improve their lives by giving Australian aborigines the same education as everyone else. With a good degree and a good job, people can afford high-quality healthcare. This will prevent widespread Australian aboriginal health difficulties by providing high-quality therapy. The government should also educate most medical staff on aboriginal culture to better serve them.


Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (2019) Overview of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status, 2018. Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

Barr, L., Wynaden, D., & Heslop, K. (2019). Promoting positive and safe care in forensic mental health inpatient settings: Evaluating critical factors that assist nurses to reduce the use of restrictive practices. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(4), 888-898.

Baum, F., & Fisher, M. (2014). Why behavioural health promotion endures despite its failure to reduce health inequities. Sociology of health & illness36(2), 213-225.

Beavis, A. S., Hojjati, A., Kassam, A., Choudhury, D., Fraser, M., Masching, R., & Nixon, S. A. (2015). What all students in healthcare training programs should learn to increase health equity: Perspectives on postcolonialism and the health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. BMC medical education15(1), 155.

Brockie, T., Clark, T. C., Best, O., Power, T., Bourque Bearskin, L., Kurtz, D. L., … & Wilson, D. (2023). Indigenous social exclusion to inclusion: Case studies on Indigenous nursing leadership in four high income countries. Journal of clinical nursing, 32(3-4), 610-624.

Browne, A. J. (2017). Moving beyond description: Closing the health equity gap by redressing racism impacting Indigenous populations. Social science & medicine (1982)184, 23.

Cameron, B. L., Plazas, M. D. P. C., Salas, A. S., Bearskin, R. L. B., &Hungler, K. (2014). Understanding inequalities in access to health care services for aboriginal people: A call for nursing action. Advances in Nursing Science37(3), E1-E16.

Fisher, M., Baum, F. E., MacDougall, C., Newman, L., & McDermott, D. (2016). To what extent do Australian health policy documents address the social determinants of health and health equity? Journal of Social Policy45(3), 545-564.

Fitzpatrick, J. P., Latimer, J., Olson, H. C., Carter, M., Oscar, J., Lucas, B. R., … & Fitzpatrick, E. (2017). Prevalence and profile of neurodevelopment and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) amongst Australian Aboriginal children living in remote communities. Research in developmental disabilities65, 114-126.

Goodman, A., Fleming, K., Markwick, N., Morrison, T., Lagimodiere, L., & Kerr, T. Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society. (2017). “They treated me like crap and I know it was because I was Native”: The healthcare experiences of Aboriginal peoples living in Vancouver’s inner city. Social Science & Medicine178, 87-94.

Huang, Q., Pun, J., & Huang, S. (2022). Using a Mixed-Methods Needs Analysis to Ensure the Sustainability and Success of English for Nursing Communication Courses: Improving Nurse-Patient Engagement Practices in Globalized Health Care. Sustainability, 14(21), 14077.

Hunt, L., Ramjan, L., McDonald, G., Koch, J., Baird, D., &Salamonson, Y. (2015). Nursing students’ perspectives on the health and healthcare issues of Australian Indigenous people. Nurse education today35(3), 461-467.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Brass, G. (2016). Addressing global health disparities among Indigenous peoples. The Lancet388(10040), 105-106.

Ramjan, L., Hunt, L., &Salamonson, Y. (2016). Predictors of negative attitudes toward Indigenous Australians and a unit of study among undergraduate nursing students: A mixed-methods study. Nurse education in practice17, 200-207.

Thomas, D. P., Bainbridge, R., & Tsey, K. (2014). Changing discourses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, 1914‐2014. Medical Journal of Australia201(S1), S15-S18.

Valeggia, C. R., & Snodgrass, J. J. (2015). The health of indigenous peoples. Annual Review of Anthropology44, 117-135.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics