Brideson, T., Havelka, I., McMillan, F., & Kanowski, L. (2014). The Djurruwang Program: Cultural affirmation for effective mental health. 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.523-532). Commonwealth of Australia.

This chapter outlines the growth and development of the Djirruwang Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Worker Education and Training Program (The Djirruwang Program) in Australia. The chapter describes what can be achieved when individuals, organisations, health disciplines and Aboriginal communities work in close partnership and learn from each other. We emphasise the importance of recognising Aboriginal cultural experiences and knowledge within the mental health curriculum, and providing a culturally safe environment to facilitate effective outcomes. Importantly, it stakes a claim for Aboriginal Mental Health Workers (AMHWs) as equally significant as the professions and disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing and occupational therapy in addressing the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.