Kriol mental health resources for headspace Katherine

The theme for Mental Health Week this year is ‘celebrating our strengths’ which prompts us to reflect on things we are proud of and that help to keep our mental, physical and spiritual selves strong.

Natasha Reece, Centre Manager at headspace Katherine presented at the Menzies School of Health Research Mental Health Week Seminar about a topic she and her team are very proud of – translating mental health resources into Kriol language for the young people of the Big Rivers region.

“There are gaps in linguistically diverse mental health resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” said Natasha to a room of mental health professionals and practitioners, many of whom work remotely in the NT.

Over half of the young people who use headspace in Katherine are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and the team wanted to make the resources more relatable by translating resources on the topics of stris an weit (stress and pressure), grog en drugs (alcohol and drugs), mentil helth im laiga tri (mental health tree) and strongwan en helthi releshanships (healthy relationships).

“I’ve seen the surprise on the faces of young people who see these resources in Kriol, and they always want to take copies with them to share with others. For me, this reinforces the importance of making resources accessible to all”.

Natasha explained the process of translating the resources hasn’t been as simple as changing words, because the translator needed to understand mental health concepts. “We’ve been working with cultural consultants for three years, and one of them did the translation work” she said.

The resources originally come from headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, which created a suite of Australia wide resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 12 to 25 called Yarn Safe.

Natasha Reece presenting about the process for translating mental health resources into Kriol at Menzies Mental Health Week Seminar