This article will build on the definition of social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) used within an Indigenous health framework. We intend to distance it from its current discipline of mental health, the Eurocentric term commonly used in social science literature. This is to emphasize that, within Aboriginal (Rudder and Grant, 2005) and Torres Strait Islander, Maori, and First Nations (Canadian) languages, there is no specific word for “health.” Indigenous peoples from within these countries have a holistic view of health that encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, and environmental spectrum of wellbeing. This article therefore uses “social and emotional wellbeing” rather than the generic Eurocentric terms of “health” or “mental health” to give this a stronger Indigenous voice. The elements of social and emotional wellbeing are discussed from an Indigenous viewpoint and from extracts compiled in work undertaken by Sutherland (2017). The elements explored may offer new perspectives to others. Similarly, this article offers an explanation as to why elements are siloed within the context of mental and physical health. This has led to some parts of SEWB gaining advantages over others within policy and funding models.

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