Pathways of recovery: preventing further episodes of mental illness (monograph)

Population groups with special needs

Page last updated: 2006

There are several population groups within Australia that are of special significance and have additional needs in relation to mental health care. While the issues covered elsewhere in this paper also apply to these population groups, separate mention is provided here to highlight some of the unique features of relapse prevention in terms of the 4As of awareness, anticipation, alternatives and access for these population groups.

Across the lifespan, the population groups of children and adolescents and older people require special mention. Historically, the mental health care system in Australia has not been geared to their needs and it is, therefore, necessary to draw attention to some of the differences from mainstream adult-focused services for people at these stages of the lifespan.

Of primary historical and cultural importance to Australia are Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. Issues relevant to their unique and pressing needs regarding continuing care for mental health and wellbeing are emphasised here. People who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds also have distinctive needs that must be recognised. Another exceptional challenge for mental health care is being responsive to issues of distance and access in Australia, and responding to the needs of people living in rural and remote communities.

Children and adolescents

Older adults

Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Rural and remote communities

Forensic populations