University Of Tasmania

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Improving the social and emotional well-being of Aboriginal men with bush adventure therapy

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 17:40 authored by Jacob PrehnJacob Prehn
The mental and physical health outcomes of Aboriginal men are the worst of any group in Australia. The average life expectancy of Aboriginal males is approximately 12 years less than non-Indigenous men and Aboriginal men are 2.4 times more likely to be hospitalised due to poor health. More than 20 percent of Aboriginal men report high or very high levels of psychological distress in the previous 12 months. Each year billions of dollars are committed by Australian governments to addressing the poor health of Aboriginal people but very little is directed towards programs that specifically address social-emotional well-being for Aboriginal men. Of the few programs that are supported, most have not been formally evaluated for effectiveness or cultural appropriateness. This study examines the impact and efficacy of Bush Adventure Therapy as a way of supporting good mental and physical health for Aboriginal men. The study included a systematic review of Aboriginal men’s health literature which suggests that Bush Adventure Therapy, is well positioned, to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal men. The next phase of the study explores the holistic therapeutic benefits of Bush Adventure Therapy program. This program which is designed, developed and conducted by Aboriginal men for Aboriginal men, incorporated traditional palawa cultural practices and customs. Initial findings from qualitative data suggest that connecting to country and incorporating cultural practices acts as protective factors for Indigenous men, within a Bush Adventure Therapy framework provide unique benefits and positive sense of social and emotional well-being.


Publication title

Poster abstracts: indigenous health conference: walking together




DVC - Academic


University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine

Place of publication


Event title

Indigenous health conference: Walking together

Event Venue

Toronto, ON

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status and outcomes

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