Document Type

Book Chapter


Commonwealth of Australia


Faculty of Education and Arts


Office of Associate Dean - Research and Higher Degrees (FEA) / Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet




Adams, Y., Drew, N. M., & Walker, R. (2014). Principles of practice in mental health assessment with Aboriginal Australians. In Dudgeon, P., Milroy, H. & Walker, R. (Eds.). Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practices (2nd Ed) (pp. 271-288). Australia: Commonwealth of Australia. Available here


In this chapter, concepts and history of assessment and testing in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing and mental health are discussed. Importantly, recently revised diagnostic guidelines and the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce 20131 and their appropriateness for meeting the distinctive needs of Aboriginal people are reviewed. Various assessment tools and measures that have been validated or proved appropriate for use with particular Aboriginal populations, i.e. youth, women and older people, are described. We conclude that practitioners need to be critically reflective in their role in assessment, and position themselves to play an important transformative role in conducting assessment. This extends to acknowledging and enacting culturally responsive principles, procedures and practices to ensure that Aboriginal people have access to effective, culturally secure mental health care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.