Dr Yaqoot Fatima

University of Queensland / James Cook University
Research Field: Sleep Health, Sleep Epidemiology 

Despite the established success of sleep health programs in reducing the risk and severity of mental health issues, evidence-based interventions to improve the sleep health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are non-existent. Mainstream programs that fail to recognise the strengths of Indigenous culture and disregard contextual challenges; do not align with the needs and expectations of Indigenous peoples and therefore have limited uptake and effectiveness.

I am leading the co-design and delivery of a sleep health program for Indigenous adolescents and facilitating Indigenous youth workers’ training and upskilling to work as a “Sleep Coach” in the community, a ‘first’ in Australian sleep research.  I am also establishing nurses and Aboriginal Health workers led sleep clinic in remote Queensland. This model will be the prototype for rolling out similar services and improving access to specialist sleep services in rural and remote Australia.