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Curtin University to conduct study into young Indigenous men's mental health and wellbeing

Joseph Guenzler -

Curtin University has been given nearly $100,000 by Healthway for a study aimed to help young Aboriginal men aged 14-25 take care of their mental health and well-being.

The research team will collaborate with young Indigenous men to understand their thoughts on mental health and how they currently promote their well-being, also exploring the challenges and factors that support mental well-being and resilience.

Lead researcher from Curtin's School of Population Health, Professor Penelope Hasking, said the team will create and test mental health messages that are culturally appropriate and meaningful to young Aboriginal men.

"We will conduct co-design workshops to develop new strengths-based approaches to increase mental health literacy and mental health promotion grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and being, which might include social media campaigns or mass media campaigns," she said.

"We will soon be recruiting our research team to guide the project, which will comprise young Aboriginal men and Aboriginal Elders before we commence an initial pilot within the City of Stirling early next year."

Lotterywest and Healthway Chief Executive Officer Ralph Addis congratulated Professor Hasking and her team, and all researchers who received funding through Healthway's Targeted Research Round.

"Healthway is committed to supporting evidence-based research that will lead to improvements in the health of the WA community, in particular Aboriginal people," Mr Addis said.

"We look forward to the outcomes of all the research projects, including Curtin's which will improve the mental health literacy and reduce health inequities among young Aboriginal men."

Healthway's 2022 Targeted Research Round provided funding of approximately $400,000 distributed among four researchers.

The objective was to enhance health messaging specifically for children and young individuals.

Apart from the mentioned project, other funded initiatives included research on sun protection messaging for adolescents, vaping cessation, and messaging about energy drinks for children and young people.

The Targeted Research Round occurs once per year, focusing on a different health promotion issue each time.

The upcoming round in 2023 is scheduled to open in October. During this round, researchers will be invited to submit projects that explore innovative and modern approaches to measuring health behaviours in Western Australia.

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