“ NACCHO welcomes the Government’s commitment and national actions towards reducing suicide rates and improving mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mental health and suicide remain one of our top priorities as research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are 2.7 times more likely to experience high levels of psychological distress than other Australians.
The attempted suicides are almost twice the rate of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and they are missing out on the much-needed mental health services.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations are best placed to be the preferred providers of mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, and suicide-prevention activities in their communities. They need to be adequately resourced to develop community-led solutions that consider issues from a social and emotional perspective and provide appropriate solutions to prevention.
Harnessing this global momentum on World Suicide Prevention Day is critical to ensure productive and meaningful solutions are put in place to drive suicide rates down.
We will continue to advocate for appropriate funding to ensure community-led solutions to arrest suicide.”
Acting NACCHO Chair, Donnella Mills
Picture above from Left to right Tanja Hirvonen and Pat Dudgeon (CBATSISP) , Professor Tom Calma , Minister Ken Wyatt and Leilani Darwin see event details Part 4
” The Morrison Government is investing over $5.5 million in an approach that will help two of the nation’s leading mental health organisations reduce suicide rates and improve mental health outcomes for First Australians.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and this is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to shine a light on this enormous tragedy.”
See Minister Hunt and Wyatt full Press Release Part 2 Below
TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH, WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY BREAKFAST (FED)
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, discusses R U OK day, youth mental health and suicide prevention, and government investment in suicide prevention.
” Indigenous leaders welcomed Health Minister Greg Hunt’s $4.5 million announcement of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia – a national independent and inclusive Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention leadership body – at a Parliament House Poche Indigenous Health Network (PIHN) breakfast yesterday
Further welcome was given to Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt’s announcement of a $1 million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network within the Black Dog Institute to provide a national representative voice for Indigenous people with lived experience of suicide “
See Part 4 Below for Press Release
“ Aboriginal medical service was the best opportunity for a wraparound service for families within these communities.
They can provide social and emotional wellbeing and access to counselling, and their care management is done more effectively.
The Aboriginal Health Council of WA had been given the lead role by the WA Primary Health Alliance to look at a transition of State Government services.
We’ve all made the agreement and established thereference group now through Thirrili.
Basically ( The forum ) it was held in response to the inadequacy of services, particularly related to suicide prevention, mental health and primary health care services,”
South Regional TAFE Aboriginal development officer and Noongar man Laurence Riley organised the event and said there had not been a meeting like it in years.
See Article in full Part 3 Below
Part 2 : The Morrison Government is investing over $5.5 million in an approach that will help two of the nation’s leading mental health organisations reduce suicide rates and improve mental health outcomes for First Australians.
In 2017, the suicide death rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was twice that for non-Indigenous people.
Suicide accounts for 40 per cent of all deaths of Indigenous children – one life lost to suicide is one too many.
The Government is investing $4.5 million in Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia to deliver a national plan for culturally appropriate care and make suicide prevention services available and accessible to First Australians no matter where they live.
Proud Spirit will provide support in times of need with:
- A dedicated senior suicide prevention officer
- the inclusion of a government and a Primary Health Network (PHN) liaison officer, to ensure Proud Spirit connects to all Australian governments and PHNs
- a representative of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation so Proud Spirit links to mental health and health services
- a community partnerships officer, to connect Proud Spirit to Indigenous communities, including people with lived experience of suicide, members of the Stolen Generations, youth and Indigenous LGBTIQ people.
In addition, we are investing $963,000 to establish the Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Mental Illness and Suicide Network.
The Black Dog Institute and the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at the University of Western Australia, will work together to deliver this initiative.
These organisations will:
- Provide the means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lived experience of mental illness and suicide to contribute to and engage with policy and program development, leading to an increase in self-determination and empowerment
- support organisations to provide culturally appropriate mental health and suicide prevention programs and services to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government boosted funding for Indigenous-specific health initiatives to $4.1 billion over four years to 2022-23.
Our Government is committed to investing in mental health services for all Australians. It is a key pillar of our Long Term National Health Plan.
Part 3 :Narrogin’s Aboriginal community came together last month to voice their concerns, discuss mental health, and call for change in the region.
The Narrogin and Surrounds Aboriginal Community Consultation hosted more than 60 people at the John Higgins Community Centre, including elders, community members, and representatives from health organisations across the State and Australia.
The four-hour forum heard the community’s concerns, among which were poor health and support services in the region, and ongoing high rates of suicide, with many making emotional pleas for change.
South Regional TAFE Aboriginal development officer and Noongar man Laurence Riley organised the event and said there had not been a meeting like it in years.
“Basically it was held in response to the inadequacy of services, particularly related to suicide prevention, mental health and primary health care services,” he said.
“A lot of the services that exist in town, are not able to cater for that long, progressive counselling and support for families or people that are going through mental health issues and suicidal ideology.”
Mr Riley said part of the issue was being managed by three State regional boundaries, and government agencies not responding or being accountable to each other.
“It’s been trickling on since our first suicide 20 years ago and then we had the suicide spike in 2007-2008, when those seven or eight young men within Narrogin, Pingelly and Wagin took their lives,” he said.
National Indigenous Critical Response Service case manager Tina Hayden, who attended the meeting, said there was a funeral almost every week from someone taking their life in the area.
“We’re all related so it’s not just their loss — even though it’s their son or their daughter or grandson — it’s our loss because it’s still our family and they would have made an impact on our lives in some way,” she said.
Elder Nolda Williams, who was also present at the meeting, lost her son to suicide when he was 18 years old.
“It’s something you’ll never get over,” she said.
“I don’t want to see any more kids lose their lives.
“I want to see something happen, something they can do, somewhere they can go.”
Mr Riley said an Aboriginal medical service was the best opportunity for a wraparound service for families within these communities.
“They can provide social and emotional wellbeing and access to counselling, and their care management is done more effectively,” he said.
Mr Riley said the Aboriginal Health Council of WA had been given the lead role by the WA Primary Health Alliance to look at a transition of State Government services.
“We’ve all made the agreement and established thereference group now through Thirrili,” he said.
Thirrili and the National Indigenous Critical Response Service provide direct emotional and practical support to families and communities affected by suicide or another traumatic event.
NICRS chief executive Adele Cox said she was delighted with the number of community members who took part in the forum.
“I think that confirmed the absolute support and commitment from the community to look at taking these issues into their own hands and finding local solutions,” she said. “As a national service, it was heart-warming to come see such a turn-out and hear those conversations.
“While they were not always pleasant and some of the conversations that had to be had were hard, I think there was a showing of respect from everyone that attended.”
Ms Cox said it was great to see the Shire of Narrogin, including chief executive Dale Stewart and president Leigh Ballard, at the forum, and she hoped they had taken the opportunity to listen and take active initiative.
“We heard many ideas and very simple and practical suggestions from the community, which don’t take a lot in terms of resources,” she said.
The forum was led by Laurence Riley.Picture: Daryna Zadvirna
AHCWA, WAPHA and NICRS were also joined at the meeting by the local Kaata-Koorliny Employment and Enterprise Development Aboriginal Corporation, as well as Life without Barriers.
KEEDAC chief executive Leanne Kickett said the community was frustrated as the same issues had been addressed for the last 20 years but there had been no real outcomes so far.
“Funding has been allocated to certain services but we haven’t seen a result, there hasn’t been a different outcome,” she said.
“I think it has made us realise that we need to work together to make this change.”
Mr Riley said he spoke to the Commonwealth in 2015 about the opportunity to establish new Aboriginal medical services in the Narrogin region.
“Government’s response was ‘We don’t have the dollars so at this point of time we won’t be establishing any new Aboriginal medical services’,” he said.
“So what they’ve been doing is using existing resources and dollars to be able to expand into different regions.
“But since then (Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken) Wyatt has accused metropolitan services of neglecting rural and remote Aboriginal communities, hence why we’re kind of taking the lead to try to establish some services.”
A report on the forum held earlier this month was planned to be drafted and released to the community for a review, Ms Cox said.
“I’m hoping that as a part of this process we can get commitment from the State Government and I know that Minister Wyatt has certainly highlighted that he’s certainly for community-driven approaches and solutions,” she said.
“So hopefully, the report that comes out of this will be something that is listened to.”
Mr Riley said although change would be slow, it was definitely in progress.
“I think people are ready for change,” he said.
“People are ready to combat this division and just start moving forward as a community.
Part 4 Indigenous leaders welcome $5.5 million social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention initiatives
Indigenous leaders welcomed Health Minister Greg Hunt’s $4.5 million announcement of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia – a national independent and inclusive Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention leadership body – at a Parliament House Poche Indigenous Health Network (PIHN) breakfast this morning.
Further welcome was given to Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt’s announcement of a $1 million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network within the Black Dog Institute to provide a national representative voice for Indigenous people with lived experience of suicide.
PIHN Chair and Patron, and founder of the Close the Gap Campaign for Indigenous Heath Equality, Professor Tom Calma AO said:
“I thank the Prime Minister and Ministers Hunt and Wyatt for both announcements today and their recognition that the overall Indigenous health and life expectancy gap cannot be closed without significant focus on strengthening Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and mental health, and on reducing our suicide rates”
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSILMH) Chair Mr Tom Brideson said:
“I add my thanks to the Australian Government for these announcements today. Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia will provide an inclusive, representative and complementary voice for the Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention sector
It will, in particular, focus on implementation of the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration developed by NATSILMH and that Australian governments are required to implement by the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia will be a national advocate for a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to our wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention, encompassing cultural and clinical elements to benefit all our diverse communities: remote, regional and urban, and including our young people, our LGBTIQ, and our Stolen Generations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network Head Ms Leilani Darwin said:
“The Black Dog Institute and I are excited to establish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network to inform, influence and enhance culturally-appropriate suicide prevention activities and mental health support programs that work for our First Nations people.”
“The Lived Experience Network will be the conduit that links existing networks together and mobilises, connects and enables Indigenous people with lived experience of suicide to have a seat at
the national table and to help deliver culturally fitting and safe Indigenous -led suicide prevention and mental wellbeing reform.”
Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association Chair Ms Tania Dalton said:
“ I am particularly pleased that the work of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia, supported by the Lived Experience Network, will include leading an inclusive development process for a dedicated Indigenous suicide prevention plan with a strong youth component. “
In closing, Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) Director Professor Pat Dudgeon affirmed:
“Indigenous leadership – inclusive and accountable to our communities – is critical if efforts to close the mental health outcome and suicide rate gaps are to be effective. With today’s announcements Indigenous leadership of Indigenous mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention is – at last – cemented into the national policy space,”
“I take this opportunity to pay tribute to 40-years and more of tireless work by Indigenous leaders in this space. In particular, I acknowledge the work of NATSILMH since 2013. The naming of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia after its Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration is a testament to NATSILMH’s influence.”
“Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia and the Lived Experience Network will also promote a new generation of leaders in this space to ensure indigenous leadership of the sector into the future.”
- For media enquiries on for Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia: Tanja Hirvonen (CBATSISP) and Professor Tom Calma are available for and interview requests. Please contact Jessica Weiland, 0468969041 or via Jessica.email@example.com
- For media enquiries on The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network: Leilani Darwin is available for interview requests. Please contact: Natalie Craig 02 9382 3712 or 0448 144 999 or via Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org,
- For more information about NATSLMH and the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration see: https://natsilmh.org.au/
- For more information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Network see: https://blackdoginstitute.org.au/lived-experience-network · For more information about CBPATSISP see https://www.cbpatsisp.com.au/ · For more information about AIPA see: http://www.indigenouspsychology.com.au/
- The Poche Indigenous Health Network is a network of Poche centres, focused on closing the gap in life expectancy and seeking solutions to address the complex health issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For more info see: http://pochehealth.edu.au/ ·
- For reporting guidelines around mental illness and suicide see Mindframe: http://www.mindframe.org.au · For information around national suicide prevention see Life in Mind: http://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au
- Lifeline: 131 114
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Mensline: 1300 78 99 78