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What is clear, however, is that the impact of problems relating to mental health exacts a tremendous burden on many in the Australian population - individually, socially and economically - and the need for clarity in terms of understanding and responses remains important for Indigenous Australian people specifically and the Australian population generally.

The review begins by examining aspects of an ongoing debate concerning the terminology used in the context of discussing Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB).

Since its emergence in the Australian context in the 1980s, the concept of social and emotional wellbeing has helped cast a light onto considerations of the mental health of Indigenous people and encouraged observers - including Indigenous people themselves - to consider mental health holistically by acknowledging and examining the broader socio-historical and personal choices that influence it.

The term 'mental health' refers to 'a state of emotional and social wellbeing in which individuals can cope with the normal stresses of life and achieve their potential' [10].

The National Mental Health Plan 2003-2008 recognised a continuum of mental health ranging from mental health that is good to mental health that has been compromised in some way, perhaps by the emergence of a diagnosable mental illness or other mental health problem [10].

Reflecting upon his great grandmother's experience, he stated that in the midst of often polarised opinion about the need, benefit or wisdom of an apology, that in essence the acknowledgement that it facilitated was about reinstating belonging for Indigenous people otherwise disconnected from family and country by prior policy and action.

He couched the apology in terms of it representing an action that provided a place in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people might participate with a view to reconciling history in the present.

A deliberate emphasis is made here to highlight major signposts, research findings and interventions concerning Indigenous people .

A number of general and significant trends are identified in this review, but the diversity of Indigenous Australian experiences - both historically and in a contemporary sense - need to be acknowledged, as does its implications in considerations of competent and appropriate service provision .

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