Defining and addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trauma, grief and postvention

The ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities grieve is different from non-Indigenous grieving in important ways. Complex kinship systems and tight-knit families mean that grieving is often done at the community level. However, due to the ongoing trauma from a history of dislocation from family, country, culture and community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families experience grief more frequently and intensely than non-Indigenous Australians.

This review examined Australian and international literature to identify how trauma and grief are defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how postvention, trauma-informed practice and community capacity building can promote healing, resilience and social and emotional wellbeing.