Home > Traveller mental wellness continuum: a qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views.

Villani, Jacopo and Kuosmanen, Tuuli and McDonagh, Margaret and Barry, Margaret (2023) Traveller mental wellness continuum: a qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views. Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, University of Galway.

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This research project set out to explore the views of Travellers on the strategies needed for promoting Traveller mental health and wellbeing and reducing suicide. These strategies need to be informed by Traveller views and knowledge concerning the determinants of good mental health and wellbeing and how these can be supported from a strengths-based and culturally appropriate perspective. Indigenous wellness frameworks, such as the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework, identify cultural continuity and competence and the social determinants of health as the foundation for mental wellness and suicide prevention and a continuum of comprehensive supports for promoting mental wellness.

This study was designed to explore the range of community supports, services and actions that members of the Traveller community consider to be essential for promoting their mental health and wellbeing. The study findings will help inform the development of a Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum, rooted in Travellers’ views and knowledge on the determinants of mental health and encompassing all aspects of Travellers’ life and cultural identity, which the community perceives as essential to prevent suicide and achieve and sustain positive mental health over the longer term.

Study aim and objectives:
This study aims to create the research base for the development of a culturally sensitive continuum of mental wellness and suicide prevention strategies for and by members of the Irish Traveller community. The findings from
this research will identify, from the perspective of Travellers, the actions needed to improve Travellers’ mental health and wellbeing, reduce suicide rates, and improve Travellers’ engagement with services. More specifically this study has the following objectives:
• To explore the views of Travellers and Traveller groups on the factors and strategies needed for Travellers to achieve optimal mental wellbeing and prevent suicide, including timely access to mental healthcare services.
• To examine the meaning and nature of culturally appropriate suicide prevention and mental healthcare services from the perspectives of members of the Traveller community.
• To identify the core requirements for the development of a comprehensive continuum of care for Travellers (mental health promotion, suicide prevention, treatment, recovery) which can be integrated into mainstream health services and community actions.

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