Uti Kulintjaku

Ilawanti Ken

Ilawanti Ken, Ngangkari (traditional healer) at an Uti Kulintjaku workshop

Uti Kulintjaku

The Uti Kulintjaku (UK) Project is an innovative, Aboriginal-led mental health literacy project initiated by NPY Women’s Council (NPYWC) in 2012. Senior Anangu women were concerned about the wellbeing of the young people in their communities and wanted to do something about it. Mental health issues affect many families, and all communities, in the NPYWC region in Central Australia.

‘Uti kulintjaku’ is a Pitjantjatjara phrase that means ‘to think and understand clearly’. The UK Project aims to strengthen bi-cultural mental health literacy for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health professionals. The group does this by coming together in a series of workshops that open up mental health concepts from both Aboriginal and Western perspectives. The knowledge that comes out of these workshops is then shared with western health professionals as well as Aboriginal families and communities in the area. The sharing of this knowledge is largely done through language-based resources.

“Our group is about bringing things out in the open – talking about mental health and trauma. This is to help our families and communities see and understand what’s happening… We’ve now got words to talk about these things with our children and grandchildren. We are bringing things out into the open and we really enjoy this work.” Uti Kulintjaku Project Participants 2014″