Publications & Reports

YArnhem: Co-designing a model of social and emotional wellbeing stepped care for young people of the north east Arnhem region: A development study protocol.

Black O, Wright CJC, Clifford S, Erwin M, Canuto K, Wakerman J, Rossingh B, Morgan J, Smith J


Introduction More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people experience high or very high levels of psychological distress compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. This may be partly attributed to systemic barriers resulting in lower rates of help-seeking, sub-optimal identification of psychological challenges, and undertreatment. Reducing these barriers within health systems is an important factor in reducing the Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) health burden on young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Objectives In partnership with Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation (Miwatj), this project will co-design an integrated youth Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) and mental health stepped care model for remote Aboriginal communities in the north east Arnhem region of the Northern Territory.

Design A collaborative research approach using co-design methods will underpin a community-centric stepped care allocation method, to which culturally appropriate SEWB and mental health interventions and treatments are assigned. These components of the project will inform a digital platform which will facilitate access to SEWB care for young people in north east Arnhem land. This concept was co-developed in a partnership between researchers and Miwatj and builds on Miwatj’s previous work to map the stepped needs of young people. The co-design of the content and features of these outputs will be facilitated through community participation and overseen by community, health, and cultural governance structures. This will ensure the solutions developed by the project are culturally responsive, fit for purpose, and will enhance self-determination while reducing systemic barriers to care.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Autralian Journal of Rural Health
  • Published: 13/10/2022
  • Volume: Epub ahead of print