Reconciliation Action Plan

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience mental illness and substance abuse at a disproportionally higher rate than those from other backgrounds yet have limited access to treatment and recovery services

Indigenous people take a holistic view of health and wellbeing with emphasis on social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Family and community input are also highly valued.

Where mental health services often fail indigenous communities is the failure to recognise the disconnect between the mainstream approach to diagnosis and treatment, and indigenous cultural attitudes towards health. To bridge the gap between indigenous communities and recovery services, recognition of this diversity is essential.

One Door’s approach to indigenous mental health:

  • takes into account the holistic approach.
  • acknowledges other issues that are affecting the person including inter-generational trauma and loss.
  • acknowledges the cultural diversity among all indigenous groups.
  • is open to incorporating traditional treatments into services.
  • conducts assessment, diagnosis and treatment within the community as far as possible. Relationships and context are important to Indigenous people yet often assessment and treatment is conducted far from home and family.
  • includes indigenous health workers to liaise between communities and mental health services (accessing indigenous expertise and knowledge).
  • provides cultural awareness training for non-indigenous mental health workers
  • trains indigenous workers to educate non-indigenous health workers; and
  • involves indigenous people living with mental illness, their families and carers, and other community members in training and education programs.

Our vision for reconciliation is to create an environment that has mutual respect, social justice and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with mental illness. A critical part of this vision is our industry-leading Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13. Cat. no. 4727.0.55.006. Canberra: ABS, 2013.


It’s a RAP

We have just finished our first official year of the Reconciliation Action Plan. The full report of the year’s activities can be viewed here RAP Report 16-17 (PDF 527.5KB).



Artwork by Matthew McGann, Aboriginal Recovery Support Worker, Personal Helpers and Mentors Program, Shoalhaven. Matt is a proud Yuin man from the Far South Coast of NSW and is very passionate about his artwork.