Regional Visions 2023

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConference/SymposiumAcademic


Background: First Nations students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) program at Charles Sturt University are either working in, or are placed in, a community mental health setting in the community where they live. Whilst placing healthcare students in the community where they live is not unusual, there are a number of challenges faced exclusively by First Nations students in this context. Cultural and kinship connections pose unique challenges for First Nations health students undertaking clinical placement, or working in, the community where they have immediate and extended family.
To prepare First Nations students for clinical placement in this context, an online module with three stages is being developed. The first part of the module considers ‘self-care’ and the need for students to consider their own positionality and health, recognising that self-care is required before it is possible to care for others. The module then considers the cultural supports which are available, along with the clinical supports, all of which are inherent requirements to successfully complete placement.

Methods: A First Nations elder, who is an experienced educational designer was engaged to advise on the cultural aspects of the project. This approach combined with recruiting a First Nations post graduate student who had completed the program to work on the module, ensured that the cultural safety aspects were addressed and ensured that lived experience was able to inform the development of the content and the module as a whole.

Findings: Initial findings suggest that there are a range of factors that impact on First Nations students’ preparedness to undertake clinical placement in the mental health care setting, with a key finding being the extent to which an individual has come to terms with their own identity and experience of trauma.
Conclusions: Being aware of, and consciously engaging with, selfcare principles is a core requirement to be prepared to undertake clinical placement. This aligns with Sustainable development goal 3: Good health and well being.

Period23 Nov 2023
Event typeConference
LocationDevonport, Australia, TasmaniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational