The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) today launched its website, enhancing the Association's ability to lead efforts to address social and emotional wellbeing and mental health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
AIPA steering committee member Graham Gee said the site will act as a contact point and a presence for the Association, which has 40 members across Australia.
"It's a professional meeting point for Indigenous psychologists and a vehicle for promoting Indigenous psychology to students, the Indigenous community and other psychologists, health professionals and government," Mr Gee said.
The AIPA website will inform the public about the Association's key aims, which includes providing leadership on issues relating to the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in having greater access to culturally safe, evidence-based psychological care that respects and promotes their cultural integrity; and promoting cultural competence training and awareness amongst non-Indigenous psychologists.
AIPA, which operates under the auspices of the Australian Psychological Society, is the national peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists in Australia. Initiated in 2008, it advocates for equitable participation of Indigenous people within psychology, with the aim of increasing the Indigenous psychology workforce to representative population levels. As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders constitute 2.5 per cent of the Australian population, a total of 624 psychologists would be required to achieve parity within the profession.
AIPA is committed to improving the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait individuals, families and communities by working collaboratively with others to ''close the gap'' in the current social and emotional and mental health inequities that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
"We hope that the AIPA website will connect us to the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the country, so that they can see what Indigenous psychologists are about, what we do, and the kinds of possibilities and opportunities available to them if they wish to pursue a career in psychology," said Mr Gee.
Indigenous psychologists play an important role in promoting cultural resilience, cultural revitalisation and healing programs. They see evidence-based practices and approaches to healing and therapeutic change as working alongside traditional approaches, giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as many options as possible to improve their health and wellbeing.
For further information, go to www.indigenouspsychology.com.au.
The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 18,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychol ogists mak e a difference to peoples ' lives, through improving psychological k nowl edge and community wellbeing.
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