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Improving aboriginal Juvenile detainees' access to community health services

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal
Volume 36 Issue 1 (Feb 2012)

Abstract: Background: This program was focused on improving health knowledge and access to community health services for Aboriginal juvenile detainees. - Methods: The Aboriginal Youth Health Access Workshop Program was developed in consultation with Aboriginal juvenile detainees. Six workshops were conducted from March 2010 to November 2011 at three Juvenile Justice Centres in New South Wales. Overall, 116 Aboriginal young men aged between 16 and 18 years participated. The majority (84%) of participants completed all sessions, which lasted 45 minutes each. A pre- and post-survey was conducted to evaluate the program outcomes. - Results: The major health concerns reported included smoking, violence, petrol sniffing, needles and stress. There was a large increase (from 49% to 97%) in participants reporting they had an understanding of Medicare and bulk billing and an increase (from 68% to 99%) in participants understanding what to expect when they attended a health service. Participants reported barriers to accessing health services including concerns about confidentiality, age differences and fear of confrontations. As a result of the program, 71 young men (70%) were able to apply for their Medicare Card prior to their release from custody. - Conclusions: The Aboriginal Youth Health Access Workshop Program is a successful example of a way to improve health knowledge and access to health services among this vulnerable population.

To cite this article: Whitton, Nathan and Indig, Devon. Improving aboriginal Juvenile detainees' access to community health services [online]. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, Feb 2012: 13-17. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=369350998485050;res=IELFSC> ISSN: 1037-3403. [cited 27 Aug 16].

Personal Author: Whitton, Nathan; Indig, Devon; Source: Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, Feb 2012: 13-17 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1037-3403 Subject: Community health services; Risk management; Aboriginal Australians--Medical care; Health surveys; Juvenile detention; Affiliation: (1) Aboriginal Mental Health Clinical Leader, Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, Suite 305, Level 2, Westfield Office Tower, 152 Bunnerong Road, Pagewood NSW 2035, email: nathan.whitton@justicehealth.nsw.gov.au
(2) Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice, Justice Health, Sydney, Australia, and School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

Database: Families & Society Collection