Atkinson, J., Nelson, J., Brooks, R., Atkinson, C., & Ryan, K. (2014). Addressing individual and community transgenerational trauma. In P. Dudgeon, H. Milroy and R. Walker (Eds.), Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2nd edition (pp.373-382). Commonwealth of Australia.

This chapter provides a focus on trauma as cause and effect which, when untreated, can compound within and across generations. The result is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social distress for individuals and broader social groups. While the experiences and transfer of trauma are not limited to members of specific racial or cultural groups, religions, or socio-economic levels, there is substantial evidence that trauma-related behaviours and attitudes are most prevalent in Australia’s disadvantaged and disengaged communities. The chapter acknowledges that the combined effects of colonisation (and the actions it legitimised), and more recent government policies and practices (e.g. child removal), have contributed substantially to the dire circumstances of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ lives today. We argue that the provision of adequately resourced and credentialed trauma-specific services is vital if the current levels of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing are to be sustainably improved.