Looking Forward Project resources

Looking Forward Project website

McKinney, C., and McKinney, B. on behalf of WAAMH, Uncle Charlie Kickett & Auntie Helen Kickett (2015). Hand in hand - cultural learning for better mental health: Our journey in the Looking Forward ProjectNew Community. Volume 13. No 3. Issue 51, pp. 31-26.

This article explores the experiences and key learnings of the WAAMH staff, and the benefits and challenges of being involved in the Looking Forward Project.

Wright, M., O’Connell, M., Jones, T., Walley, R., & Roarty, L (Dec 2015). Looking Forward Aboriginal Mental Health Project: Final Report. Perth: Telethon Kids Institute, Subiaco, Western Australia.

This final report for the Looking Forward Project presents the research findings which have emerged from the design and implementation of a mental health and drug and alcohol systems change intervention that was conducted in the south-east metropolitan corridor; an area between Bentley to Armadale, from 2011 to 2015. The findings from the extended data gathering process were synthesized to four key attributes the Aboriginal participants considered to be essential to effect change in the mental health system, so as to improve service delivery to Nyoongar people and their families living with serious mental illness. The four attributes were trustworthiness, inclusivity, reciprocity and adaptability.

Wright, Dr. M., O’Connell, M. & Jones, T. (2013). Open hearts open hands: a spiritual journey of change: a handbook. Perth: Looking Forward Project.

The handbook guides service providers through their personal journey of reflecting on and transforming their own way of seeing the world to recognise and include Nyoongar ways of understanding the world, and the development of an action plan for working together with the Elders to make their service more accessible and responsive to the needs of Nyoongar families.

Other resources

Bishop, B.J., Vicary, D.A., Mitchell, J.A., & Pearson, G. (Nov 2012) Aboriginal Concepts of Place and Country and their Meaning in Mental Health. The Australian Community Psychologist. Volume 24 No 2. Pp.26-42. The Australian Psychological Society Ltd.

This research looks specifically at the importance of place in Aboriginal worldviews. There exists a wide gulf between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal understandings of mental health, in particular, and culture more generally. Concepts such as ‘country’ need to be understood by non-Aboriginal practitioners for them to be able to provide a quality service that is culturally appropriate.

Dudgeon, P., Milroy, H., & Walker, R. (Eds.) (2014) Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice. (2nd Ed.).

This book is intended for staff,students and all health practitioners working in areas that support Indigenous mental health and wellbeing. It offers a high quality, comprehensive examination of issues and strategies influencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.