Everyone has a role in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is particularly the case during periods of heightened tension and increased incidence of racism, such as in the time surrounding the recent referendum or lead up to January 26 each year. 
Non-indigenous people can take steps to raise awareness, reduce the burden on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, provide support, and call out racism. Key tips include:  

  • Be aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing added stress, mental load and racism in relation to the ongoing effects of colonisation, dispossession and intergenerational trauma. These experiences may be heightened during periods when Indigenous Affairs are prominent in the media.
  • Educate yourself, to reduce the burden on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide this education. The links below suggest some avenues for this.
  • Provide support to your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends, family and colleagues.
  • Take responsibility for reporting racism via the Call It Out First Nations Racism Register and other relevant avenues.

For more information, support and resources, see click or tap to expand the boxes below. 

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and need help now, contact 13YARN (13 92 76). 13YARN offers a confidential one-on-one yarning opportunity with a Lifeline-trained Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter who can provide crisis support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 13YARN empowers community with the opportunity to yarn without judgement and provide a culturally safe space to speak about their needs, worries or concerns.

Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 

WellMob's Tips to Stay Deadly

Healing Foundation's resources on Having Challenging Conversations, Racial Stress and Trauma and Dealing with Misinformation

NACCHO's Find an ACCHO Near You directory

eSafety Commission's First Nations resources to help be deadly online

RUOK's Stronger Together resource kit for having conversations in community   


13 YARN - 13 9276 (24 hours)

Brother to Brother - 1800 435 799 (24 hours)

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 or webchat (24 hours)

Resources for non-Indigenous people

Waminda's videos of Aboriginal women and non-Indigenous people discussing January 26.

Clothing the Gaps' blog post on the range of conversations about January 26.

Australian Human Rights Commission's information about responding to racism 

ANU's video on Ending Racism and how non-Indigenous people can help

Evolve Communities' guide to Reconciliation Beyond the Referendum

Resources for organisations

The Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership across all parts of the Australian mental health system 

WellMob's resources on understanding the impact of colonisation when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

ANU's referendum mental health and wellbeing factsheet for organisations

ANU's referendum mental health and wellbeing factsheet for the education sector

ANU's organisational self-assessment tool on responding to racism