The “Maga Barndi” Mental Health Service for Aboriginal People in Western Australia

The “Maga Barndi” Mental Health Service for Aboriginal People in Western Australia Journal Article

Australasian Psychiatry

  • Author(s): Laugharne, Jonathan, Glennen, Michael, Austin, June
  • Published: 2002
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Volume: 10
  • ISBN: 1039-8562

Abstract: Objective: This paper describes the implementation of the 'Maga Barndi' pilot project while highlighting certain issues relevant to delivering psychiatric services to Aboriginal people.Method: The process of developing and implementing the project is described with an emphasis on those aspects which seem to enhance accessibility and acceptability to the Aboriginal community.Results: Over the 2-year period of the project, a caseload of 61 Aboriginal patients was established within Geraldton. A further 22 Aboriginal patients were managed at a variety of regional centres and another 52 at the Regional Prison. This represented a marked increase in service utilisation by local Aboriginal people. Psychiatric admissions for Aboriginal patients to the local hospital were reduced by 58% in the year following service commencement. Location of the project within an Aboriginal-controlled health centre with access to Aboriginal health workers and a flexible assertive community management approach were key factors in facilitating patient access to the service.Conclusions: The project succeeded in its objective of pioneering a culturally sensitive psychiatric service for Aboriginal people in Geraldton and the Midwest. Lessons learnt during the development of the project may be useful to other services seeking to improve their accessibility and acceptability to Aboriginal people.

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Laugharne, Jonathan, Glennen, Michael, Austin, June, 2002, The “Maga Barndi” Mental Health Service for Aboriginal People in Western Australia, Volume:10, Journal Article, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15798.

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