Overview of Indigenous Mental Health

Professor Helen Milroy

Stan Perron Professor Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Perth Children’s Hospital and UWA | Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


This presentation will cover the current issues in Indigenous mental health including the current policy environment, clinical issues and the need for greater cultural security in services. It will also include Indigenous concepts of mental health and ways forward.


Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. Currently Helen is the Stan Perron Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Perth Children’s Hospital and University of Western Australia and Honorary Research at the Telethon Kids Institute. Helen is the Chair of the Gayaa Dhuwi Proud Spirit Australia organisation and a board member of Beyond Blue. Helen has been on state and national mental health and research advisory committees and boards with a particular focus on Indigenous mental health as well as the wellbeing of children. From 2013-2017 Helen was a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and from 2017-2021 was a Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission. In 2020, Helen was the joint winner of the Australian Mental Health Prize and named the WA Australian of the Year for 2021.

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