Can community singing program promote social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians?
There are higher rates of social and emotional difficulties among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, compared to the general Australian population. This is at least partly attributable to social and economic disadvantage, community and individual experiences of discrimination and abuse, loss of cultural identity and spiritual practices and poorer physical health. This investigation examined the health benefits of a communitybased singing activity intervention on improving social and emotional wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Methods: From 2010-2011, 117 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, from the State of Queensland, Australia, were recruited through five communities to participate in a one-year community singing program. Participants completed a survey, in the pre-and post-intervention phases of the study, which measured social and emotional wellbeing. Results: Improvements in social and emotional wellbeing were observed for participants who participated in the singing program. In particular, there is a reduction in the following stressors: death of family member or close friend, job loss, seeing fights or people beaten up, trouble with the police, discrimination or racism, abuse or violent crime, alcohol related problems, and a member of family being sent to jail. In conclusion, the participative community singing program was successful in improving social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal adults. Keywords: community singing, social and emotional wellbeing
Journal of Alternative Medicine Research
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES