Experience of providing cultural safety in mental health to Aboriginal patients: A grounded theory study
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The need for mental health clinicians to practice cultural safety is vital in ensuring meaningful care and in moving towards improving the mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people. The concept of cultural safety is particularly relevant to mental health professionals as it seeks to promote cultural integrity and the promotion of social justice, equity and respect. A substantive theory that explained the experience of providing cultural safety in mental health care to Aboriginal patients was developed using grounded theory methodology. Mental health professionals engaged in a social psychological process, called seeking solutions by navigating the labyrinth to overcome the experience of being unprepared. During this process participants moved from a state of being unprepared to one where they began to navigate the pathway of cultural safety. The findings of this research suggest health professionals have a limited understanding of the concept of cultural safety. The experience of providing cultural safety has not been adequately addressed by organizations, health services, governments, educational providers and policy makers. Health services, organizations and government agencies must work with Aboriginal people to progress strategies that inform and empower staff to practice cultural safety.
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