NACCHO Aboriginal suicide prevention: Black Dog Institute launches app to try to save lives


ibobbly draws on stories from Aboriginal performers and uses psychological therapies proven to reduce suicidal thoughts


Consider the FACTS

  • Indigenous suicide rates five times higher than non-indigenous youth

  • New mobile app designed to provide culturally-relevant psychological care

  • Clinical trial launched by Yawuru man Patrick Dodson in Broome

Suicide rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are amongst the highest in the world.

Despite increased funding and implementation of new prevention programs, very few indigenous people will seek help before acting on suicidal thoughts.

Black Dog Institute, in partnership with WA-based suicide prevention group Alive and Kicking Goals, is launching a trial of the world’s first suicide prevention app designed especially for use by indigenous people on mobile phones or tablet devices.

Called iBobbly (a name derived from a Kimberley greeting), the app delivers treatment-based therapy in a culturally relevant way. Based on psychological therapies proven to reduce suicidal thoughts, it draws heavily on indigenous metaphors, images and stories drawn from local Aboriginal artists and performers.

According to Black Dog Institute researcher Professor Helen Christensen, the app format leaps two of the major hurdles to help seeking-Percieved stigma and isolation

We know that indigenous Australians are not seeking face to face mental health care, more than 70% of indigenous suicides occur in people who are not previously known to health services.

“Indigenous youth have a high rate of mobile phone usage  so it makes sense that we engage them on technology they are comfortable with and able to use in their own private time.”

“Once the app is downloaded they don’t need ongoing internet access and the program is password protected, thus maintaining confidentiality if the technology is shared amongst the community.”

“The initial pilot trial being run in WA will allow us to test and refine the program. We hope to expand iBobbly access to indigenous people living in other States later in 2014.”

iBobbly is funded by the Australian Government and NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention. The program was developed in partnership with Alive and Kicking Goals, HITnet Innovations,

Thoughtworks, Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit UNSW and the Young and Well Cooperative ResearchCentre. Samsung generously donated 150 tablets for the trial.

Interviews are available with Prof Helen Christensen (Black Dog Institute) and Joe Tighe (Alive and Kicking Goals).

Contact Joe Tighe on 0400 240 607 for more information.



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The NACCHO  APP promotes the sports healthy futures program that will give Aboriginal youth the opportunity to improve their overall health and wellbeing through active participation in sports.

Research shows that if a young person is happy and healthy they will be able to get the most out of their education, build their confidence and their self-belief and hopefully one day become a well-educated “Indigenous All-star” in the sport or employment of their choosing.” Mr. Mohamed said.

Mr. Mohamed said he is encouraging all  150 NACCHO members and stakeholders to promote the APP to their 5,000 staff and over 100,000 clients so that our community members can really have Aboriginal health in Aboriginal Hands. All ready in first few days over 1,000 Apps have been downloaded from the APP Store and Google Android store.

Here are the URL links to the App – alternatively you can type NACCHO into both stores and they come up!



“The NACCHO App contains a geo locator, which will help you find the nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in your area and  provides heath information online and telephone on a wide range of topics and where you can go to get more information or assistance should you need urgent help “ Mr Mohamed said.

Health help includes:

Ambulance, Alcohol, Babies Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children,  Depression, Diabetes, Domestic Violence, Drugs, eHealth, Eye Health, Gambling, Healthy Eating, Hearing, Male health, Medicare, Mental Health, Prostate cancer, Smoking , Suicide, Teenagers, Women’s Health.

The NACCHO App allows users  to share, connect or contact NACCHO through our social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, daily news alerts and the NACCHO website.

– See more at:

NACCHO POLITICAL ALERT: Download Act of recognition speech Prime Minister’s speech .

Julia PM

Photo NACCHO historial

Speaker, this Parliament is the gathering place of our nation’s representatives.

 But we stand on land that was, from time immemorial, the gathering place of the Ngunnawal people.

 So I speak here today, as I always do, in a spirit of friendship and respect for the First Australians, and with honour to Elders past and present.


 I’m also conscious that on this special anniversary, we acknowledge the courage that enabled Kevin Rudd to offer the Apology and the generosity of spirit that enabled Indigenous Australians to accept it.

 We are only able to consider this Act of Recognition and constitutional change because the Apology came first.

 Speaker, the Constitution of our Commonwealth came into force on January 1, 1901.

 It was the start of a new century and a new year.

 Alfred Deakin wrote that “Never on this side of the world was there a New Year’s Day with such high expectations.”

 Those expectations were high because with the Constitution had come Australia’s birth as a nation.

 But not all our people shared those expectations.

 In the decade of deliberation that created our Constitution, there were conventions and debates across this land.

 But there is no record of any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person taking part.

 Indigenous people did not ordain our Constitution nor contribute to its drafting.

 They had no opportunity to vote for it, and yet all were affected by what it said and what it failed to say.

 They were affected by provisions that even by the standards of the time seem questionable and strike us now as harsh and inhumane.

 But they were also affected by the “great Australian silence” which fell upon our founding document.

 Because among the 128 sections of the Constitution, there is no acknowledgement of Australia’s First Peoples.

 No mention of their dispossession.

 Their proud and ancient cultures.

 Their profound connection to the land.

 Or the unhealed wound that even now lies open at the heart of our national story.

 Speaker, in 1967, the people of Australia sought restitution and repair, but their work was incomplete.

 Today, a new generation dreams of finishing the job with the same idealism and the same means.

 Not through protests or law suits.

 But by this Parliament summoning every Australian elector to a referendum.

 And there, in the sanctity of the polling booth, to inscribe their agreement to a successful constitutional amendment.

 On that day, as the polls close and the ballots are counted, individual assent will merge into a collective “yes”.

 In that way, we will forge an accord – bi-partisan and unanimous – to right an old and grievous wrong.

 A step that will take us further on the path of Reconciliation than we have ever ventured before.

 Speaker, voting is the solemn act of our democratic order.

 But amending the Constitution is even more profound, because it occurs so rarely and succeeds even more rarely still.

 At the election of 2007, it seemed the prospect of constitutional recognition was very close at hand, supported, as it was, by both major parties.

 But in difficult and volatile times, we have not yet found the settled space in our national conversation to make the promised referendum a reality.

 So the government has advanced this Bill for an Act of Recognition.

 To assure Indigenous people that our purpose of amendment remains unbroken.

 And to prepare the wider community for the responsibility that lies ahead.

 This Bill is thus an act of preparation and anticipation.

 In this legislation, we, the nation’s 226 legislators will serve as proxies for Australia’s 14 million voters, bridging the time between now and referendum day.

 That is why this Bill has a sunset clause of two years.

 So that the 44th Parliament can achieve what the 42nd and 43rd have been unable to do.

 Speaker, this Bill introduced by my friend and colleague, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, has two main purposes:

 Firstly, it acknowledges in law that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the first inhabitants of this nation.

 It acknowledges they occupied this land from time immemorial – they honoured and cared for it, and do so to this day.

 Secondly, this Bill seeks to foster momentum for a referendum for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

 The Bill gives the Parliament some of the tools it will need to build the necessary momentum for constitutional change.

 These include a legislative requirement for a review of public support for a referendum, to be tabled here in Parliament six months before any referendum bill is proposed.

 This Bill, and the referendum to come, are closely informed by the work of the Expert Panel, itself an outstanding example of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians working together.

 The Expert Panel’s report was informed by intensive consultations across the nation – from Sydney to Ceduna, Longreach to Launceston.

 That work gives us the solid foundation upon which to build parliamentary and community consensus.

 I again thank the Expert Panel, ably co-chaired by Patrick Dodson and Mark Leibler, for its important work and I acknowledge the Panel members who are present today.

 But ultimately, a Referendum Bill will be the creation of this Parliament.

 So I also commend the work to date of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

 And I look forward to their continued work in the months ahead to prepare the way for the Parliament, most likely in the course of 2014, to debate and pass the Referendum Bill.

 This is the critical work because it will require all of us in this Parliament to find consensus around the wording and the content of the proposed constitutional amendment.

 Speaker, the work of preparation is vital and timely.

 But, ultimately, recognition is not a matter for politicians or experts.

 Instead, the Constitution belongs to the people.

 It was created by them.

 It serves them.

 And it is amendable by them alone.

 So this is a task in which all Australians must share.

 I do believe the community is willing embrace the justice of this campaign because Australians understand that Indigenous culture and history are a source of pride for us all.

 But I also believe that their good will needs to be galvanised.

 Some of the work of building consensus is being led by the Joint Select Committee.

 Some of the work is being led by Reconciliation Australia and other organisations that are building grassroots support for change.

 The Government is investing $10 million in this community-based work.

 But most of all, the push for change is increasingly being led by ordinary Australians – Indigenous and non-Indigenous  alike.

 This morning I met with some remarkable young Indigenous leaders who are deeply engaged in the campaign for recognition.

 Men and women who were not born in 1967 but who share the spirit and optimism of those days.

 They will be among the many Australians actively working in communities around the nation in coming weeks and months.

 I trust that we will be out there too, every one of us, in our electorates, doing the same.

 Campaigning with optimism – campaigning with hope.

 Speaker, the experience of 1967 gives us abundant cause for such hope.

 In an era where the nation was perhaps less open and socially-aware than our own time, that ballot yielding the highest “Yes” vote ever recorded in an Australian referendum – almost 91 per cent.

 I believe we can do it again.

 This year the youngest voters of that referendum are turning 67.

 I hope they will soon be able to return to the ballot box, perhaps with their children and grandchildren, and again make history.

 After all, a foundation document is more than just a set of rules and procedures.

 It can articulate a nation’s sense of itself.

 But our nation cannot articulate such a sense of self when there is still great unanswered questions in our midst.

 How do we share this land and on what terms?

 How adequate are our national laws and symbols to express our history and our hopes for the future?

 We must never feel guilt for the things already done in this nation’s history.

 But we can – and must – feel responsibility for the things that remain undone.

 No gesture speaks more deeply to the healing of our nation’s fabric than amending our nation’s founding charter.

 So I commend this Bill to the House as a deed of Reconciliation in its own right.

 And as a sign of good faith for the referendum to come.

 We are bound to each other in this land and always will be.

 Let us be bound in justice and dignity as well.