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Connection to... Addressing Digital Inequities in Supporting the Well-Being of Young Indigenous Australians in the Wake of COVID-19

1
Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
2
School of Indigenous Studies, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
3
School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
4
Susan Wakil School of Nursing, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Chancellory, Victoria University, Footscray, VIC 3011, Australia
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Curtin Medical School, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
7
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042141
Received: 11 December 2020 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 15 February 2021 / Published: 22 February 2021
(1) Background: This article examines whether connection to digital technologies helps connect young Indigenous people in Australia to culture, community and country to support good mental health and well-being and protect against indirect and potentially long-term effects of COVID-19. (2) Method: We reviewed literature published between February and November 2020 and policy responses related to digital strategies. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, government policy websites and key Indigenous literature sources, identifying 3460 articles. Of these, 30 articles and 26 policy documents were included and analysed to identify existing and expected mental health outcomes among Indigenous young people associated with COVID-19 and more broadly. (3) Results: There are inequities in affordable access to digital technologies. Only 63% of Indigenous people have access to internet at home. Digital technologies and social media contribute to strong cultural identity, enhance connections to community and country and improve mental health and social and emotional well-being outcomes. (4) Discussion: Access to digital technologies can facilitate healing and cultural continuity, self-determination and empowerment for young people to thrive, not just survive, in the future. (5) Conclusion: More targeted policies and funding is urgently needed to promote digital technologies to enhance Indigenous young people’s access to mental health and well-being services, maintain cultural connections and evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives using Indigenous well-being indicators. View Full-Text
Keywords: Indigenous; social and emotional well-being; mental health; digital technologies; young people; equitable access; culture Indigenous; social and emotional well-being; mental health; digital technologies; young people; equitable access; culture
MDPI and ACS Style

Walker, R.; Usher, K.; Jackson, D.; Reid, C.; Hopkins, K.; Shepherd, C.; Smallwood, R.; Marriott, R. Connection to... Addressing Digital Inequities in Supporting the Well-Being of Young Indigenous Australians in the Wake of COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2141. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042141

AMA Style

Walker R, Usher K, Jackson D, Reid C, Hopkins K, Shepherd C, Smallwood R, Marriott R. Connection to... Addressing Digital Inequities in Supporting the Well-Being of Young Indigenous Australians in the Wake of COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):2141. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042141

Chicago/Turabian Style

Walker, Roz, Kim Usher, Debra Jackson, Corinne Reid, Katrina Hopkins, Carrington Shepherd, Reakeeta Smallwood, and Rhonda Marriott. 2021. "Connection to... Addressing Digital Inequities in Supporting the Well-Being of Young Indigenous Australians in the Wake of COVID-19" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 2141. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042141

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