The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) supports Close the Gap Day as an important opportunity to reflect on the social and health disparities present between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
The recently released Closing the Gap Report 2019
once again showed that in many areas Australia is not making progress.
In recognition of the need for ongoing action to address the social determinants of health and the mental health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the College recently updated its Position Statement
to call for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
The RANZCP supports the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory body to guarantee an Indigenous voice in political decision-making, as recommended in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In order to realise truth-telling and promote health, the RANZCP also supports the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to guide the treaty process and to provide a basis for truth-telling.
The inclusion of mental health targets in any refresh to the Close the Gap strategy, designed and implemented in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is also a crucial part of working towards achieving health equity.
For more information, see Position Statement 68: Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution