Department of Health

Balit Murrup: Aboriginal social emotional wellbeing framework 2017-2027

Key messages

Balit Murrup means 'strong spirit' in the Woi-wurring language. It recognises that to reduce the growing mental health gap, we need new and different solutions to address what has been described in as entrenched mental health crises.

The vision of Balit Murrup is to support Victorian Aboriginal people, families and communities to achieve and sustain the highest attainable standard of social emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Balit Murrup's objective is to reduce the health gap attributed to suicide, mental illness and psychological distress between Aboriginal Victorians and the general population.

Many Victorian Aboriginal people and communities are thriving and enjoy excellent social and emotional wellbeing and mental health. Through connections to culture, community, country and family they are resilient and able to deal successfully with life's difficulties and challenges. But too many are not.

The impacts of colonisation, trans-generational trauma, racism, discrimination, marginalisation and disadvantage have resulted in poor mental health outcomes. Aboriginal people and communities are more likely than the general population to face risk factors for poor mental health and barriers to emotional and social wellbeing.

This includes mental illness; drug and alcohol abuse; family violence; self-harm and suicide; all of which are experienced by Aboriginal Victorians at significantly higher rates than non-Aboriginal Victorians.

For Aboriginal Victorians with a disability - physical, intellectual or cognitive - the challenges to social and emotional wellbeing can be multiplied.

By improving the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal people, families and communities, we can make a significant contribution to reducing the incidence, severity and duration of mental illness and suicide.

The development of Balit Murrup: Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing framework is a key commitment under Victoria's 10-year mental health plan. It is also a companion document to Korin Korin Balit-Djak: Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2017-2027. Korin Korin Balit-Djak provides an overarching framework for action to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal Victorians by providing high-level strategic actions to reform the health and human services sector in order to advance Aboriginal self-determination in health, wellbeing and safety.

Balit Murrup is underpinned by a comprehensive analysis of the case for change.


Policies and guidelines
Date published
23 Oct 2017

Reviewed 12 April 2023

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