Tianna Bailey
Tianna Bailey

Tianna Bailey

Indigenous Health Scholarship 2022

Charles Sturt University, NSW

Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health)
Scholarship Awarded 2021

Sponsored by:
David Hennings Foundation

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

Sure, everyone explains how they are going to assist Aboriginal people and communities to provide better health and wellbeing outcomes. Don’t get me wrong it’s something I definitely aim to achieve however; one important thing I think we need to work on first is how we interact and engage with Aboriginal people and communities.

How are we as an organisation or a health service or a community going to ensure that we are culturally appropriate and accepting? Well this is something I really hope to achieve, I hope to reduce the stigma that my people and my communities have with accessing healthcare services, with accessing mental health support in particular.

Once we ensure that people feel safe and welcome when accessing our programs, services or organisations don’t you think that will then help Close the Gap and reduce health and wellbeing impacts to our local Aboriginal communities?

By supporting Aboriginal people in the right way, the first time they access a service or program is only going to ensure that the word that is being spread about our services to their family members or members of the community are positive.

The strongest recommendation to Aboriginal people is through yarning, it is through listening to other Aboriginal people about their experiences and their stories.

So therefore, we need to speak up when you hear or see something that culturally offends you, we need to speak out and ensure people know when they are being inappropriate or behaving/speaking in a way that isn’t kind and considerate of culture.

We need to ensure people have a better understanding of culture, ensure they have the knowledge of why Aboriginal people have trouble trusting government organisation, healthcare systems and the police. We need to ensure people know about the horrific things that happened to Aboriginal people during colonisation.

Most of all we need to build back trust and show more empathy towards Aboriginal people and communities.

Current Progressive Report

Throughout my time so far with Charles Sturt University I have enjoyed the personal and professional growth whilst studying a Bachelor degree in Health Science – Mental Health. Semester one of my second year was just as successful as the first two semesters that I endured. One could say it was easier in the fact that I knew what to expect however I think the subjects and assignment tasks were more complex and time consuming.

There have been many challenges along the way and the struggle to manage work life, study life and family life is still proving difficult. I have often wondered why I didn’t start my university degree sooner and then reflected upon the fact that it took me a little longer to decide and be sure about what I am most passionate about. I think this degree is perfect for me and it has really allowed for both professional growth in theory and practise as well as personal growth. Throughout the last semester I studied the following subjects:

  • MHP210 – Mental Health Clinical 2 (year-long subject)
  • MHP209 – Mental Health, Law and Ethics
  • MHP217 – Assessment and Crisis Management

Moreover, for me personally I thoroughly enjoyed the Assessment and Crisis Management subject. It really allowed for a more in-depth learning experience that can easily be adapted into clinical practice as a mental health clinician. I found this particularly helpful whilst I was undertaking clinical placement. I successfully completed two hundred and forty hours of clinical placement in the Youth and Family Mental Health Team at Port Macquarie. This team is a crisis intervention team that assists in the treatment and referral pathways for youth (eleven to eighteen years) that are self-harming or have previously attempted suicide.

Additionally, throughout this placement period I learnt quite a lot about assessing and providing therapeutic intervention to the young people and their families. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with families and providing a culturally appropriate service to individuals experiencing mental health illness or disorders. The growth and improvement that I recognised in some individuals and families throughout this short period makes me proud and happy to have chosen such a difficult and complex study pathway. It helps to fulfil my drive and passion for a more attachment-based family therapy focused healthcare within youth mental health services across NSW Health

Furthermore, parenthood, work and full-time study life can be difficult. It has been a good learning experience and I have constantly been reminded to practice self-care. I have suffered from a lot of anxiety recently over the past year and found it difficult to keep up with how fast paced my life is. It is hard to get down time and I reflect upon the extra time I will get to spend with my children meaningfully when my study is over. I have also held a lot of guilt around the fact that I don’t have as much time for my community as much these days either. I am only attending one of the five community committees I was affiliated with. I know in time this hectic schedule will pass and my kids will be grown so I need to cherish the moments and take each day as it comes.

It hasn’t been easy, and the rest of my degree won’t be easy. However, my drive and passion will keep me going. My kids, family and my community will keep me going. Reflection and taking time to absorb both personally and professionally is where the most growth and attainment happens. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my reflections over the last six months.

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