NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: PM and Health Minister take action on Indigenous #suicideprevention

PM

” In any other country, in any other part of the world these statistics would be a cause of national shame and soul searching,

“And quite frankly, if these numbers applied to any group of non-indigenous kids in Sydney or Melbourne, there would be pages of newspaper print and no amount of money, resources or political effort spared to address the issue.

It’s time there was a full Royal Commission into failings in the system that are driving so many people in our communities to such levels of despair that suicide is the only answer; and into what systemic changes we need to put in place to reverse such appalling statistics.”

Matthew Cooke NACCHO Chair Press Release

” The rate of suicide among young Indigenous men is the highest in the world, according to a new report highlighting the challenges facing young Australians.

The index helps formulate youth development policy in the domains of education, health and wellbeing, employment as well as political and civic participation, measured across 16 key indicators “

The first ever Australian Youth Development Index (YDI) was compiled as part of International Youth Day.

Download the report here Australian_Youth Index 2016

“We must, as a nation, address the tragic over-representation of suicide rates in remote and indigenous communities such as the Kimberley, where the age-adjusted rate of suicide is more than six times the national average.

The Kimberley trial site will help us develop a model of suicide prevention we can tailor specifically to the unique and often culturally-sensitive requirements of remote and indigenous communities “

Health Minister Sussan Ley Press Release : Suicide prevention trial for Kimberley region Press Release :

Photo above : The Prime Minster “tweeting” his meeting with Professor Pat Dudgeon in Perth last week the challenge of Indigenous suicide

The Turnbull Government will establish a landmark suicide prevention trial site in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region, helping lead the way in tackling suicide rates in indigenous communities across the country.

This is part of the additional $192 million we committed during the election and is one of 12 suicide prevention trial sites, and is on top of the bold reforms we had already set in motion last term.

We are a Government dedicated to action on improving the mental health of the nation and reducing suicide rates, and our announcements supporting indigenous and remote communities, youth and veterans in recent days demonstrates that.

We must, as a nation, address the tragic over-representation of suicide rates in remote and indigenous communities such as the Kimberley, where the age-adjusted rate of suicide is more than six times the national average.

The Kimberley trial site will help us develop a model of suicide prevention we can tailor specifically to the unique and often culturally-sensitive requirements of remote and indigenous communities

The Country WA Primary Health Network (PHNs) will commission the Kimberley suicide prevention trial, and follows on from the appointment of the Perth South PHN to lead similar trials into youth and indigenous suicide.

These trials will bring together best practice, expertise and local knowledge to tailor mental health solutions specific to their community needs. Commissioning them through local PHNs will ensure a focus on community education, integrating services at the local level and post-discharge follow up.

Consultation and collaboration is critical, with involvement from communities, elders, carers, local services, state government programs, health professionals and community health workers all essential if we are going to seriously tackle suicide prevention in high risk groups.

Health is a number one priority for the Coalition and we will leave no stone unturned in our effort to address the causes and impacts of suicide on our communities.

It is part of the Turnbull Government’s broader reform agenda to deliver stronger, more effective primary health care with a focus on person-centred care, delivering services that start with early intervention and prevention, regionally focussed, integrated and utilising digital technology.

Suicide rate for young Indigenous men highest in world, Australian report finds

The rate of suicide among young Indigenous men is the highest in the world, according to a new report highlighting the challenges facing young Australians.

The first ever Australian Youth Development Index (YDI) was compiled as part of International Youth Day.

The index helps formulate youth development policy in the domains of education, health and wellbeing, employment as well as political and civic participation, measured across 16 key indicators.

It rates a state or territory’s performance with a score between zero and one, with one being a perfect score.

Among the reports findings were alarming statistics on youth suicide, which showed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men between 25 and 29 had the highest suicide rates in the entire world.

“What that says is that we as a country are failing that particular group of young men,” Youth Action chief executive Katie Acheson said.

“When we look at all the countries that are measuring suicide rates it is shocking that Aboriginal males are so stigmatised and that number is so high.

“We have to do something now.”

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The index found Tasmania and Queensland recorded an increase in suicide rates despite national rates remaining steady.

Health and wellbeing registered the most significant deterioration over a 10-year period, with the index’s authors attributing that to mental health issues and the increasing use of alcohol and other drugs.

Overall, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest YDI score at 0.851, while the Northern Territory had the lowest score at 0.254.

Research finds youth are struggling to gain employment

The report also found employment opportunities for young people had declined in every state and territory, with the NT recording a drop of 80 per cent since 2006.

It also found that in all states and territories, the percentage of young people not engaged in education, employment or training was significantly higher for rural youth than for those in the cities.

“What was really interesting is that there’s a really huge gap between rural and urban areas, so young people in urban areas are more likely to get a job and have education opportunities,” Ms Acheson said.

“Young people in regional areas have far greater inequality in that their access to education and employment is much worse than those young people in the city.”

However, the report suggested political participation by young Australians had grown.

“The data is saying that in some areas we’re doing pretty well, so political participation in Australia has gone up since 2006,” Ms Acheson said.

“Pretty much everywhere we’ve seen an increase in young people having more of a voice and taking more action.”

Australia’s Youth Development Index ‘very high’ in global terms

The index took information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, including census data, as well as figures from health and education departments, such as NAPLAN data.

The report also found that despite a high level of youth development in Australia compared to other nations, there were gaps at a regional level, between city and country and Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.

It also found that many important youth issues were not measured by data or were measured but those figures were not readily available or comprehensive enough for analysis by indexes such as the YDI.

Nonetheless, in a global context, Australia’s YDI was considered “very high”.

The report also found that Australia had improved in all domains except youth health and wellbeing, where it had gone backwards, against the global trend.

The report said the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of young people in its population out of any state or territory — around one in every three people — but had managed to register the biggest improvement in its performance over the 10-year period, with a 30 per cent increase in its overall YDI score.

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