Health outcomes and life expectancy of Indigenous people throughout the world are far poorer than non-Indigenous populations. Emerging evidence from research shows that many social issues which impact on Indigenous peoples globally is linked to trauma over generations. This review explores literature about Indigenous people from around the world to seek interventions which have been successful in healing intergenerational trauma.
To identify interventions that have been successful in healing intergenerational trauma amongst Indigenous populations globally, a systematic search strategy was conducted using keywords and synonyms related to the topic. Peer reviewed academic literature was sourced from four different databases i.e. Ebscohost, PubMed, CINAHL and Medline.
Healing from intergenerational trauma is not a straightforward process. Incorporating traditional healing methods assists in the development of cultural identity, which was found to be extremely important in the healing process. To address trauma effectively, clinicians need to acknowledge the historical impact from public policies by having a real understanding of our history.
There needs to be ongoing opportunities for individuals to continue their healing journey without an ‘end date’, long-term programs will allow individuals the extended support they may require on their healing journey. Screening and assessment tools used by clinicians to assess trauma, social and emotional wellbeing or mental health issues need to ensure that they are culturally appropriate. Clinicians need to ask additional questions relevant to the individual’s cultural background, allowing both the clinician and individual to distinguish gaps in cultural identity and providing a starting point to deliver traditional healing modalities for treatment. The cultural components to screening and assessment tools should be developed in collaboration with Indigenous people to ensure they are culturally appropriate. There needs to be traditional Aboriginal healing modalities integrated into treatment plans as options for people with substance disorders, trauma, social and emotional well-being, or mental health issues.