NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SuicidePrevention : #ATSISPC18 #refreshtheCTGRefresh Pat Turner CEO NACCHO Setting the scene panel : Health led solutions through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health #Leadership

” It is well established that Aboriginal led solutions deliver better outcomes.

Aboriginal community-controlled health services should be funded based on need and so that they can develop comprehensive suicide prevention initiatives with the communities they service. 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project identifies successful Indigenous community led health led responses including providing positive health messages and mental health support underpinned by a cultural framework and tackling harmful drug and alcohol use.

These initiatives can be delivered by properly funded and supported Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

I also believe in regular full health checks for at risk people so that critical issues that can impact on a persons wellbeing, like poor hearing, can be picked up and addressed early. 

We also know that mainstream mental health service provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country is inadequate and inappropriate.

Many people feel unsafe accessing the care they need.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations should be priortised for funding to support our own people.” 

Pat Turner AM CEO NACCHO who is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies across Australia to ask COAG for a seat at the table on the Closing the Gap Refresh: so that we get that policy right : Part 1 Below

Picture above @CroakeyNews : Prof Pat Dudgeon kicks off the keynote panel session: “Setting the scene”. #ATSISPC18. Prof Tom Calma, Prof Helen Milroy, and our CEO Pat Turner

See the #RefreshtheCTGRefresh Campaign post HERE

Read over 120 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SuicidePrevention articles published over last 6 years 

Suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is regularly in the media and public conversations. Often the focus is on an individual completed or attempted suicide or the negative statistics.

The second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, to be held in Perth on November 20-21, will shift the focus to solutions identified by Indigenous people themselves. The program consists of only Indigenous people from Australia and internationally.

Our voices are important because it is our mob who understand what is going on in our communities best. We live and breathe it, with many of us either having considered taking our own lives, making an attempt or having had family members who have.

This is why the program includes a focus on community-based solutions. “

Summer May Finlay writes Part 2 below for Croakey 

Part 1 : Why an urgent need for action

  • Our people are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than other Australians.
  • Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are the most at risk of suicide in Australia.
  • Those in remote area are more disproportionately affected
  • Suicide and self-inflicted injuries was the greatest burden of disease for our young people in 2011.
  • If, Western Australia’s Kimberley region was a country, it would have the worst suicide rate in the world, according to World Health Organisation statistics.
  • Rate of suicide for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley is seven times the rest of Australia.
  • This is not news to us: but it is unacceptable and it is why we are here today.

Aboriginal control

  • At the heart of suicide is a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness.
  • Our people feel this powerlessness at multiple levels, across multiple domains of our lives.
  • It is why we have the Uluru Statement from the Heart: a cry from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation to have a say over matters that impact on us.
  • At the national level, it means a Voice to the Commonwealth Parliament and a full partnership between Indigenous people and governments on the Closing the Gap Refresh with COAG.
  • At the regional level, it is about the formation of partnerships – like in the Kimberley one on suicide prevention – working together and advocating as a region.
  • At the local level, it is about Aboriginal people being in control of the design and delivery of programs to their own people.
  • The importance of Aboriginal control or Indigenous led is highlighted consistently as a way to achieve better outcomes for our people.
  • This is also reinforced at the Kimberley Roundtable and in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project.
  • Community-led actions are the most effective suicide prevention measure for our people. This fundamental point cannot be ignored if the situation is to change.

Healing

  • Aboriginal suicide rates have been accelerating since 1980.
  • Aboriginal people did not have a word for “suicide” before colonisation.
  • To go forward, we must go back and identify and draw on those aspects of our culture that gives us strength and identity.
  • We also must heal by acknowledging and addressing the effects of intergenerational trauma.
  • Part of healing must include challenging the continuing impacts of colonisation on Indigenous peoples’ contemporary lives.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project identifies the success of Elder-driven, on-country healing for youth which has the dual effect of strengthening intergenerational ties as well as increasing cultural connection.
  • Red Dust Healing is another example of cultural reconnection achieving positive outcomes with people at risk.
  • The Healing Foundation also achieves similar outcomes with the same principles of empowerment and connection to culture.

A public policy crisis

  • Almost all Aboriginal people who commit suicide are living below the poverty line.
  • Other common factors are:
    • Aboriginal people who have been incarcerated and come out of prison with little to no hope on the horizon.
    • Aboriginal people who are homeless.
    • Aboriginal people who have been recently evicted from their public housing rentals.
    • Aboriginal people who are exposed to violence and alcohol misuse and suffer domestic abuse.
    • Aboriginal people who have multiple underlying health and metal health issues.
    • Aboriginal people who are young; males; and those who live in remote areas.
  • This tells us that we need a comprehensive public policy response to address suicide rates in our people – that suicide in our people is linked to our status and situation more broadly in Australia.
  • It is therefore unacceptable that the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing has been allowed to lapse and no further investment has been agreed.
  • We must overturn and replace the Community Development Program that is leaving our young people completely disengaged.
  • We must also tackle the issues that lead to the greater incarceration of our peoples, with greater investment in ear health programs, employment and education.
  • It is why we must join the call for Newstart to be raised, so that our people who cannot find work, are not living in poverty.
  • And it is why myself and NACCHO are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies across Australia to ask COAG for a seat at the table on the Closing the Gap Refresh: so that we get that policy right.
  • Whilst these matters can be overlooked in our efforts to respond to suicide in our people, and because it is difficult for governments, but they are fundamental drivers.

 .

Part 2 Follow #ATSISPC18 for news from National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference : From Croakey 

The second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference will take place in Perth this week.

Summer May Finlay, who will cover the discussions for the Croakey Conference News Servicetogether with Marie McInerney, writes below that the focus will be on community-based solutions, as well as listening to young people and LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys.

For news from the conference on Twitter, follow #ATSISPC18@SummerMayFinlay@mariemcinerney and @CroakeyNews.


 

Healing and support crew on hand should the be needed 

Summer May Finlay writes:

Suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is regularly in the media and public conversations. Often the focus is on an individual completed or attempted suicide or the negative statistics.

The second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, to be held in Perth on November 20-21, will shift the focus to solutions identified by Indigenous people themselves. The program consists of only Indigenous people from Australia and internationally.

Our voices are important because it is our mob who understand what is going on in our communities best. We live and breathe it, with many of us either having considered taking our own lives, making an attempt or having had family members who have. This is why the program includes a focus on community-based solutions.

While the term “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” is used as a collective term for the Indigenous nations in Australia, each community within each nation is unique – culturally, socially and historically. This means that solutions need to be tailored to each community. Again, this focus is reflected in the conference program.

That’s not to say everyone in each community has the same needs and concerns. Within communities there are sub-groups who also have distinct needs, such as young people and LGBTQI+ sister girls and brother boys.

Representation matters

Our young people and community of LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys experience disproportionate rates of suicide. Their voices on how to address the situation are important to hear, which is why these groups are well represented at the conference, with sessions where people will share their stories of ways forward.

Dion Tatow, a conference presenter, says the focus needs to be on ways forward because being “LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys isn’t the cause of suicide, it is the discrimination and exclusion that are the cause”.

He says: “The shame [and] secrecy. You have to hide it, so it’s not good for your own health and wellbeing.”

Tatow is an Iman and Wadja man from Central Queensland and South Sea Islander (Ambrym Island, Vanuatu) and chairperson of gar’ban’djee’lum, a Brisbane-based, independent, social and support network for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people with diverse genders, bodies, sexualities and relationships.

He believes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations like Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and cisgender people and mainstream organisations have a role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys.

However, many health services “staff aren’t trained to deal with some LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys’ health concerns such as gender reassignment.” This can mean LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys can feel uncomfortable accessing a service.

Safe spaces needed

Tatow believes that ACCHOs need to step up and become “safe spaces” for LGBTIQ+ sister girls and brother boys. He says that there is a perception among LGBTIQ+ sistergirls and brotherboys that ACCHOs may be unsafe, with concerns particularly around confidentiality.

According to Tatow, the program Safe and Deadly Spaces run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Brisbane (ATSICHS) is a great example of what ACCHOs can do to offer appropriate services to LGBTIQ+ sister girls and brother boys.

ATSICHS is “committed to being inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and intersex variations to ensure every member our community feels safe, accepted and valued when they access our services and programs”.

Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people also have a strong presence at the conference.

Culture is Life, led by the Chief Executive Officer Belinda Duarte, has taken charge of the youth program. Culture is Life backs Aboriginal-led solutions that deepen connection and belonging to culture and country, and supports young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to thrive. This includes allowing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take on leadership roles.

Will Austin, 22, a Gunditjmara man, from South West Victoria who is the Community Relations manager for Culture is Life, was charged with leading development of the youth program. He believes that young people being part of the program was important because “Aboriginal leadership and expertise needs to be shared in a really inclusive way with young people through listening and reciprocity across the generations.”

Culture is key

Culture is Life, as the name implies, places culture at the centre of the work they do, and Austin sees culture as key to health and wellbeing for our young people, connecting to cultural practice in traditional and modern ways. He says:

Modern culture is marching down the street and finding the balances in different ways such as art, dance and contemporary dance, poems, song writing, music.

Our culture has been around for thousands of years and shared through our Elders. It will evolve. There is no better feeling than going out on country, dancing on country, feeling your feet on the earth your ancestors have walked on. Connecting to the ancient knowledge and using modern ways to communicate it.”

Katie Symes, Culture is Life General Manager – Marketing and Communications, also believes Culture is a key “protective factor” for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

Will Austin and Katie Symes encourage young people at the conference to have their voices heard.

Austin said: “Don’t be shame. Make sure you step up. Make sure you contribute to the conversations…young Indigenous people are the heartbeat of the nation.”

Symes said: “It’s important for young people to be supported to cut their teeth in a really safe space.”

And the conference is designed to be just that, a safe space.

Listening with heart

Culture is Life is promoting the importance of “Listening with our hearts to the lived experiences of First Nations young people, their friends, families and communities” through its LOVE and HOPE campaign, which aims to aims to raise awareness through communicating the evidence, lived experiences and Aboriginal-led solutions. This aim is echoed through the conference.

You can watch the two campaign videos featuring young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Professor Pat Dudgeon, chair of the conference organising committee, here and here. Also follow the campaign on social media using the hashtags #loveandhope  #culturesquad  #cultureislife.

The conference showcases evidence from research and lived experience from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Indigenous brother and sisters from other countries. The uniqueness of the program will lend itself to a unique experience for attendees.

This conference follows the first conference held in Alice Springs in 2016 as part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project funded by the Commonwealth Government (see this Croakey report compiling coverage of the conference).

• If you or someone you know needs help or support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours-a-day), contact your local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation, call Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or call Q Life: 1800 184 527.

• Further reading: On World Suicide Prevention Day, calls for the Federal Government to invest in Indigenous suicide prevention.

• The feature image above is detail from an artwork on the conference website: Moortang Yoowarl Dandjoo Yaanginy: Families (Cultures) Coming Together for a Common Purpose (Sharing) Shifting SandsThe website says: “This artwork represents our people doing business on country that is recovering from colonisation; our lands taken over, our cultures decimated, and our families separated, causing hardship, despair, and loss of hope

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #suicideprevention : Federal Government announces Indigenous suicide roundtable to be held in Kimberley

 tom-and-pat

” The Federal Government has recently been handed the final report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Project, co-chaired by Indigenous leaders Pat Dudgeon and Tom Calma.

Dr Calma said he would like to see the report released soon. “The sooner the better,” he said. ” We need to look at this issue, we can’t just drag the chain.”

Dr Calma said he was keen to see a national suicide prevention policy that was drafted by the previous Labor government — and embraced by the current Government — implemented as soon as possible.”

Tom Calma Interview ABC NEWS By

Natasha Robinson and Cushla Travers

See 90 NACCHO articles Suicide Prevention and Help contacts below

 ” There are alternative ways to respond to child suicide in our communities without removing children from families or closing communities down, but it requires resources and placing communities in the driver’s seat.

Most broadly, “upstream” activity to mitigate the impact of disadvantage and the associated suicide risk factors is required. Here vulnerable communities must take the lead in identifying their needs and priorities, be it addressing community safety, unemployment or alcohol and drug use. ”

Picture above see NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper

previous post

Vulnerable communities must lead their own recovery

The Federal Government is set to hold a high-level roundtable on Indigenous suicide in the West Australian Kimberley region as suicide rates continue to escalate.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley to host the summit, which follows the suicide of a 10-year-old girl earlier this year in the Kimberley, which leads the world in Indigenous suicide rates.

News of the summit comes just over a week after the deaths of two women by suicide in the WA town of Kununurra.

A date for the Kimberley roundtable has not yet been set, but the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC) has received a letter from Mr Turnbull acknowledging the scale of the suicide crisis and promising to hold the roundtable.

Merle Carter, the women’s chair of KALACC, she was at the front line of the crisis.

“It’s very painful, very traumatic for the families,” she said.

“I am pleased that finally we’ve got ministers come to the table to actually speak, to engage with the Aboriginal people … hopefully they’ll take on board what we say.”

‘There were no signs’

Late last month hundreds of Indigenous people from across the Kimberley converged for a red dirt camp-out in the remote community of Warmun.

Dozens of tents, swags and portable toilets were set up under the baking sun for the annual general meetings of several peak Indigenous organisations including KALACC.

The ABC was invited to attend what is the biggest Indigenous gathering in the Kimberley, and one of the main issues being discussed was suicide.

The region is still reeling from the recent suicide of the 10-year-old girl, who killed herself at the community of Looma.

Nikki Carlton from Kununurra told the ABC she has lost a sister, nephew and cousin to suicide.

“Three years ago I lost my own big sister and a year after that I lost my nephew. I have to go through seeing my family live with this, you know, with no support or help from agencies,” she said.

Ms Carlton said on the day her sister died she seemed happy.

“I had seen her that day, she was really happy. Like I was saying, there were no signs,” she said.

“There is a big question mark. What is suicide? Is that the right word for what is happening to our people?”

Indigenous methods of prevention can’t be ignored

Western Australian Labor senator Sue Lines attended the meeting and said for her the issue of Indigenous suicide was about more than just politics.

“My granddaughter is Gidja from the Kimberley region and at the age of 12 she has been to more funerals than I have and I think that is a shocking place to be,” she said.

Senator Lines said there should be more consultation with Aboriginal people when developing prevention programs.

“We keep putting non-Aboriginal solutions into areas we don’t know a lot about,” she said.

“We need to get the funding model right, we fund successful programs and get it right. We need to listen to Aboriginal people about what they think they need.”

Veronica Lulu, an artist from the tiny community of Mulan, made the four-hour drive to Warmun for the meeting, down the infamous Tanami track.

She said traditional methods played a big part in the healing process.

“Sometimes we send them to hospital, to mental place, to get healed and better and they come back to their community, to their country,” she said.

“We take them out to do bush medicine to make them feel the spirit of the desert and make them strong.”

Ms Carlton said she hoped she could remind the young people around her of how precious life is.

“I tell my own kids, as much as you think life is hard, you just live it. We don’t know if there is life after death,” she said.

The West Australian Government has said the Indigenous suicide rate in the state is “unacceptably high” and “deeply concerning”.

The state’s Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said Aboriginal people had been identified as a priority in the State Government’s Suicide Prevention 2020 strategy.

The Federal Government has also identified the Kimberley as one of 12 trial sites for a national suicide prevention program.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

NACCHO #closethegap suicide : Where suicide lurks in Aboriginal kids’ minds as an easy way out

ARC

The remote indigenous community of Kalumburu in northern WA

“Ariana’s death has brought international attention to the high number of Aboriginal youths who kill themselves in Australia. The Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm and Youth Suicide, published in 2014, says that indigenous youth suicide in the past 20 years has gone from “being an extremely rare phenomenon to one where the rate … is now the highest in the world”.

It is four times higher for young Aboriginal men than non-Aboriginal young men, and five times higher among Aboriginal women. In some remote Kimberley communities, the rate has reached 100 times the national suicide average.

From the Weekend Australian

‘I can’t comprehend as I am sure many other parents would how a 10-year-old girl see no hope to live and no reason to live’

More deaths can be prevented by addressing family violence, housing, employment, alcohol and drug abuse and poverty in remote communities.

‘People need hope in live and if an adult doesn’t see hope how can a young child?’. –

Senator Nova Peris speaking on Skynews

Child suicide was a growing problem in indigenous communities. Children’s exposure to family violence was a “major contributor” to the mental health of young people.  services needed more funding for mental health, with remote communities having limited access through Aboriginal Medical Services and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

“We must be delivering services to the people, not (forcing) them to come to the services because Aboriginal people in remote communities are on the lowest incomes in the country.”

Sandy Davies, the deputy chairman of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation :

Read 54 Articles on Suicide / Suicide Prevention in NACCHO Communique

Last Sunday a group of children had been playing together for most of the day when one of them, the quiet and reserved 10-year-old Ariana Mangolamara, walked out of the house alone.

Just on dusk, the screams of children caused Senior Sergeant Neville Ripp to come running. ­Ariana had taken her own life in the yard, only three years after the suicide of her 12-year-old half-­sister Gladys.

Ariana died in the Aboriginal community of Looma in Western Australia’s west Kimberley, the latest place she and her five-year-old brother lived after being passed around between relatives in a life marked by instability, ­neglect and violence.

Their father, Lawrence Morlumbun, is in jail, awaiting trial for allegedly bashing the children’s mother, Rita Mangolamara, in the Kimberley port town of Derby, 220km from Broome. Ms Mangolamara is almost deaf from years as a domestic violence victim and walks with the aid of a frame. This week she was in hospital in ­Kununurra, near the WA-Northern Territory border. The children had not lived with either of their parents for some time, turning up for periods in various remote locations and even in Perth.

Ariana’s death has brought international attention to the high number of Aboriginal youths who kill themselves in Australia. The Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm and Youth Suicide, published in 2014, says that indigenous youth suicide in the past 20 years has gone from “being an extremely rare phenomenon to one where the rate … is now the highest in the world”.

It is four times higher for young Aboriginal men than non-Aboriginal young men, and five times higher among Aboriginal women. In some remote Kimberley communities, the rate has reached 100 times the national suicide average.

“To the media this story is the biggest thing ever, but to us up here it’s sadly part of life,” said Brett Wiltshire, the Kimberley pastor who runs a Christian network throughout the region.

Last year Mr Wiltshire presided over the funeral of a 13-year-old boy at Halls Creek, and he ­becomes emotional when he ­recalls so many others whose lives ended too soon. He says local ­Aboriginal children learn about suicide when someone close takes their own life. But he also says they come to see suicide as an option early because of reckless adults who frequently threaten to do it.

“The man gets full of alcohol and beats the woman and when she tries to leave he will say ‘If you leave I will kill myself’ and the kids are right there,” Mr Wiltshire says.

When Ariana died, she and her brother were living with an aunt and uncle who are volunteers in Mr Wiltshire’s church. The couple care for other children, too; last year they were with the children in Derby waiting for public housing, and more recently in Looma.

WA Child Protection Minister Helen Morton has described the indigenous couple, who do not have children of their own, as “good folk”. Ariana and her brother lived with them in an informal arrangement that had the endorsement of Ms Morton’s department. Some wonder how it took so long for the ­department to intervene. A desire to let extended family step in when parents fail permeates the department. Mr Wiltshire says it breaks his heart that Ariana had apparently finally found a safe and steady home yet chose to die.

Ms Morton points to a new understanding of how children ­accumulate harm. She says that once a child has experienced years of trauma and instability, the trigger for suicide can be something as simple as being told they cannot watch television.

“It is layer after layer after layer of harm and hurt,” she says. “Once those layers are there, the trigger does not need to be a major event.”

This is how it was for Peter ­Little, the 11-year-old Aboriginal boy who took his own life in the midwest port of Geraldton 17 months ago. The boy, who had been passed between relatives for much of his life, was kicking a footy with other children when someone refused to give him the ball. He was found dead by his playmates. In the far northern community of Mowanjum in 2011, 16-year-old Darren ­argued with his older brother over a mobile phone, stormed off and killed himself. Darren had also experienced a chaotic domestic life, and lived with various relatives when his mother was drinking.

This awareness of accumulated harm is driving radical change. To the dismay of groups such as Grandmothers Against Removals, many more children are being taken into care in WA. The department’s budget has almost doubled since 2008 to cope. Ms Morton says removal is a last resort, but necessary when adults fail. The priority is now stability for children, and that makes it harder for parents to get their kids back once they lose them.

Ariana was born in a Darwin hospital in 2006, and Ms Mangolamara took her home to picturesque Kalumburu on the northern tip of WA, where the King George River spills into the Timor Sea.

Nursing sister Lex Criddle, who lived at Kalumburu for 17 years until 2011, remembers Ariana as “a beautiful, beautiful baby”.

“On the growth charts she did well on the percentile scale; there was nothing wrong. And Rita’s parenting skills were fine.”

But all was not well in the community of about 400. The year ­Ariana turned one, in 2007, a child sex abuse scandal engulfed ­Kalumburu. At first 16 men, ­including community leaders, were charged with molesting young children and exchanging cigarettes for sex with underage girls. Ariana was about four when some of the men who had served their sentences began drifting back to Kalumburu. By 2012, ­Operation RESET, a police team tasked with helping communities recover after widespread abuse, established that 17 of the 100 adult males living in Kalumburu were convicted sex offenders. A report from within the Department of Child Protection despaired at a “breakdown in social norms”.

“A child was being sexually abused by a male family member. She told her grandmother, her uncle and then her aunty. No one did anything or stopped it,” child protection worker Rosalee Webb said in a presentation to her peers.

“Her aunty finally told the police when she had a fight with the perpetrator’s family and wanted to get back at them … six months later.”

A school teaching aide who knows the Mangolamara family well says Ariana “was very quiet, didn’t talk much” in class.

“When they’re quiet, you wonder if there’s something wrong. I thought she and (Gladys) just wanted their mum to be with them more,” the teacher’s aide says.

By the time the Department for Child Protection got involved about 18 months ago, their concern was for Ariana’s little brother. He was “displaying signs of physical harm”.

There are now fears throughout the Kimberley that Ariana’s suicide will become the catalyst for the closure of remote communities. Ms Morton denies this, saying it has steeled her resolve to work with leaders on reforms that will make children safer.

Rona Charles, a community elder from Derby, says the deadly culture of “talking silly” remains rife; recently, a nine-year-old close relative of Darren told Charles that a playmate of the same age had declared to her ‘I could just hang myself’.

The girl found herself counselling her playmate that ‘people will miss you, don’t do it’.

Just after Darren’s suicide, Charles said a local woman had walked around the back of her house and caught three children, all under six, playing with a rope around their neck. They were re-enacting the scene that one of the children had witnessed.

If you are depressed or contemplating suicide, help is available at Lifeline on 131 114

N3

Get your Message Across to our 302 Clinics/ 100,000 Koori Mail Readers

Aboriginal Health Newspaper Closes March 16

NACCHO Conference Alert #closethegap :Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Conference Call for Papers

SC

Energy is building and registrations are open for the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference in Alice Springs on 5 – 6 May 2016

Every year at least 5% of all deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is due to suicide. This ongoing crisis is increasingly significant amongst those aged 15 to 34, where suicide is the leading cause of death, accounting for a third of all loss of life.

Sandy

See Our NACCHO post this week

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) has been funded by the Australian government to investigate suicide prevention programs to determine what works, why, and how it can be replicated.

Incorporating a strong commitment to Indigenous governance, ATSISPEP is not just an exercise in desk top research. Listening to communities through personal consultation and Community Roundtables is essential to understanding the complexity of the problem, and the appropriateness of systematic, yet locally specific, solutions.

The culmination of this process is the Inaugural National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference.

Long overdue, this event will bring together experts and members of the Australian community from across the country to Alice Springs. For two days those gathered will exchange learnings, share lived experience and build knowledge about how we can best empower communities to tackle this entrenched tragedy.

Call for Papers

Thank you for your interest in presenting at a concurrent session at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference.  Abstract submissions are now open. Sessions will be between 15 and 25 minutes and are available on both 5 and 6 May. Abstract submission deadline is 5.00pm (WST) Wednesday 23 March 2016.
Abstracts are assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Experience working in the field
  • Lived experience of people who are delivering programs or services in the community
  • Preference will be given to presentations from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or teams of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people

Please email Chrissie Easton, the ATSISPEP Project Coordinator an abstract on a topic you would like to present

Registration and accommodation bookings are available at http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au/natsispc-2016 
There are a limited number of bursaries available – please contact Chrissie Easton at chrissie.easton@uwa.edu.au if you need assistance to complete the application.

Please also contact Chrissie Easton if you are interested in making a presentation at the conference of up to 30 minutes.