Objective: Identification of need for specialist assessment and the use of relevant cultural information to inform mental health assessment and care are two key factors in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to and experience of mental health care. This paper describes the Here and Now Aboriginal Assessment tool (HANAA) and the Cultural Information Gathering Tool (CIGT), two instruments developed to be used respectively by non-mental health clinicians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workers.
Method: Following widespread consultations and feedback, two independent groups of mental health clinicians based in Western Australia and Queensland were involved in developing the HANAA and CIGT.
Results: Both the HANAA and CIGT fill unmet needs in terms of instruments that can be used by non-specialists working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Conclusions: Preliminary use of the HANAA and CIGT suggests that they are well received, easy to deploy and effective instruments that promote cultural security and communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.