These guidelines have been written to fill a significant gap in resources available to Primary Health Care and Mental Health services.
Inspiration for the document rose from the recognition of the need for a key practical resource and tools to guide training, management and clinical and community practice in Wellbeing and Mental Health to complement the physical health-oriented practice manuals and guidelines. Audits conducted with remote area health services in Far North Queensland demonstrated the need for more support to the Primary Health and Mental Health Care Workforce to gain confidence, ensure continuity and integration of effort, engage families and show accountability in this area of service delivery to assist in meeting National Mental Health Standard.
There has been a major surge in national interest for resources to assist services to embed both social and emotional well being and mental health support into Indigenous primary health care frameworks. The document aims to be responsive and flexible in recognizing needs, translating academic understanding and integrating experience of all those involved. It has attracted attention nationally as it appears to be among the first of its kind as an education and training document as well as a practice guide to primary mental health care pathways. The authors and users anticipate that the protocols will be continually improved allowing new ideas and tools, adjustments for a changing workforce and new opportunities.