NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WSPD17 World #Suicide Prevention Day “Take a Minute, Change a Life”

 ” Yesterday ( 10 September ) was World Suicide Prevention Day and this year’s theme, “Take a Minute, Change a Life”, captures the idea that each of us has a role to play in suicide prevention.

The same concept lies behind R U OK? Day, which will be marked next Thursday 14 September

Just a simple, sincere question can show a distressed friend, colleague, family member or even a stranger that they are not alone and that help is available.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt : Marking World Suicide Prevention Day ( see Part 2 Below)  

 ” For me, suicidal ideation is a daily battle. It might be intense for a little bit, then I use my coping mechanisms and strategies I have learnt and they pass. Lately however, the ideations have been crippling – to the point where I can’t get out of bed, I can’t talk to people and at times before one of my education sessions, I felt I couldn’t go on stage. I was behind the curtain sobbing like a baby – petrified to talk to anyone.

The past few months I have been in a real struggle, the biggest and most constant fight I have ever been in.”

Joe Williams ( Pictured above ) will be a guest speaker at NACCHO #OchreDay2017 in Darwin Oct 4-5 : See full text Part 3 Below from the Enemy Within  .

 “The worst response to suicide within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is to ignore social disadvantage and instead attribute the loss of life to individual failure or weakness.

“Addressing the social disadvantage plaguing our communities is critical to solving many of the challenges facing our peoples, including suicide.

Our nation must face up to the devastation that has been wrought upon our peoples and which overwhelms us today,”

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar

Read her full speech Suicide Prevention Speech HERE

 ” The suicide rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths is a suicide. However, because of under-reporting issues and circumstances where there is an inability to gather adequate evidence to satisfy the coroner of a suicide, I estimate that rather one in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths is a suicide.’

Read full article Here : We should weep, but more importantly we should act to stop Indigenous suicides

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Alert : Launch #ATSISPEP Community-led solutions for Indigenous suicide prevention

Read over 110 Suicide Prevention articles published by NACCHO over 5 years

Solutions that Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us.

Download

atispep-report-final-web-pdf-nov-10

atsispep

 

The report sets out a new blueprint to improve suicide-prevention services and programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the principle of prioritising community led, culturally-appropriate services.

“This is where the rubber hits the road, working very closely at the community level, involving young people, families and elders,

We now have a strong operational plan based around the communities, to bring promising and proven strategies together in liaison with local people, to make a difference on the ground.”

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM will co-chair a new steering committee working directly with local Aboriginal communities, as the Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial begins detailed planning and delivery of potentially lifesaving initiatives across the region.

Part 1 Increased youth focus as Minister co-chairs suicide prevention committee

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM will co-chair a new steering committee working directly with local Aboriginal communities, as the Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial begins detailed planning and delivery of potentially lifesaving initiatives across the region.

“This is where the rubber hits the road, working very closely at the community level, involving young people, families and elders,” the Minister said.

“We now have a strong operational plan based around the communities, to bring promising and proven strategies together in liaison with local people, to make a difference on the ground.”

Minister Wyatt said the recent  suicide prevention roundtable in Broome was important in establishing a strong working partnership between local Aboriginal communities and the Commonwealth, especially through younger people.

He praised a presentation by Kimberley Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Forum members Jacob Corpus (20) from Broome and Montana Ahwon (19) from Kununurra, and said young people must be supported to play key roles in reducing suicide.

“Both Montana and Jacob are incredible and inspiring young leaders who have helped identify key factors that impact on Kimberley youth, which the steering committee will now consider,” he said.

“I will also encourage relevant Commonwealth and State organisations to ensure they include young Aboriginal people on advisory groups, to help empower them to take up future leadership roles.”

Youth forum recommendations included:

– Support for emerging young leaders, positive role models and mentoring

– The teaching in school of local culture and country traditions, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and the importance of resilience

– Strong youth engagement and networking through sports, arts and local cultural activities

The roundtable also heard of the need for community-run “safe houses” for young people and the potential positive effects of having pairs of youth coordinators employed by Aboriginal community groups in towns across the Kimberley.

The steering committee will be co-chaired by Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Deputy CEO Rob McPhee and will report to the Kimberley Suicide Prevention Working Group.

Minister Wyatt commended everyone involved in the development of this work and is looking forward to returning to the Kimberley in November.

Part 2 Health Minister Greg Hunt Marking World Suicide Prevention Day

Marking World Suicide Prevention Day

 

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and this year’s theme, “Take a Minute, Change a Life”, captures the idea that each of us has a role to play in suicide prevention.

The same concept lies behind R U OK? Day, which will be marked next Thursday.

Just a simple, sincere question can show a distressed friend, colleague, family member or even a stranger that they are not alone and that help is available.

More than 3000 Australians take their own lives each year and sadly, the rate is increasing. This means that many of us have been touched by this tragedy, directly or indirectly.

But not everyone understands that they can help to reduce this number.

Results of a recent survey by Colmar Brunton show that almost one in five Australians believe that talking about suicide will make a depressed person more likely to take their own life.

More than one in three others surveyed were unsure whether talking about suicide was a good or bad thing to do.

In fact, at the personal level, asking someone who is depressed and suicidal, about their thoughts can be the most effective way to allow them to get perspective, find support and reach a solution.

The Turnbull Government is committed to improving our national suicide prevention effort through new regional approaches, innovative programs and research.

We are spending $34 million over three years on 12 national suicide prevention trials which will gather evidence on better suicide prevention in regional areas of Australia, and particularly, in high risk populations.

Specific areas of focus for the trials include Indigenous communities in the Kimberley and Darwin regions and the former Defence Force members in in Townsville.

Regions of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and SA have also been selected to trial strategies that better target people at risk of suicide and ensure a more integrated, regionally-based approach to suicide prevention.

To support the National Suicide Prevention Trials, we’re also providing $3 million to the Black Dog Institute.

This funding is enabling the Black Dog Institute to provide assistance with the development of local strategies and to share best practice.

We are providing $43 million in funding for national suicide prevention leadership and support activity to organisations across Australia, such as R U OK?, Mates in Construction Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia, United Synergies, Mindframe and Orygen.

Suicide Prevention Australia has also been selected to establish and manage our new $12 million suicide prevention research fund that will tell us what works and how to deliver effective support – to individuals, families and communities.

And to help care for those that care for us, we are providing $1 million to specifically support mental health and reduce suicide in the health workforce.

On 4 August 2017, the Commonwealth and State and Territory Health Ministers endorsed the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and Implementation Plan.

The Turnbull Government will continue working together with the States and Territories to develop a national approach to address suicide prevention and to support health agencies to interact with other portfolios to drive action in this vital area.

The loss of a loved one to suicide is an immense tragedy and this is why the Turnbull Government is delivering on its commitment to provide a range programs and services that support local needs so we avoid this unnecessary loss of life now and into the future.

 

 

Part 3 My Daily fight I won’t give up

Have you ever heard the song  by Kate Miller-Heidke called ‘Last Day on Earth’? I’ll get to why it’s important shortly.

I have been in a real internal fight with myself recently. It has been for a few different reasons, triggers that set them off, but for the most part I believe it’s because I have been taking lower doses of my medication. I am doing this under the care of my psychiatrist so that I can go onto another medication.

For me, suicidal ideation is a daily battle. It might be intense for a little bit, then I use my coping mechanisms and strategies I have learnt and they pass. Lately however, the ideations have been crippling – to the point where I can’t get out of bed, I can’t talk to people and at times before one of my education sessions, I felt I couldn’t go on stage. I was behind the curtain sobbing like a baby – petrified to talk to anyone.

The past few months I have been in a real struggle, the biggest and most constant fight I have ever been in. That song I mentioned has been playing through my head, literally every morning as soon as I wake up. The chatter and noise starts in my mind and I have genuinely believed this will be my last day on earth. I have to fight the mental pain that wants to take me away.

With the effects of CTE and concussions over the years, there is every chance this illness I go through, these tough times, may get worse. But I am not ready to go out yet. I’m not ready for my life to be over. So I promise I will fight tooth and nail to make sure I am here; especially for my kids and my loved ones. I will stay in this fight!!

Each day that I have this internal battle, it’s tough. I want it to go away and sometimes I get to the point where I’ve had enough. But it’s this battle that makes me who I am. That makes me resilient and a fighter.

I have to thank my friends who have been quite persistent in checking in and making sure I am ok lately, as I know I isolate and try do it alone.

During the tough times I know it’s beneficial to talk. I know it’s beneficial to get the mess out of my body and my mind – even writing it down helps; but it’s just so hard.

I can’t do it alone. I need my doctor, my friends and my loved ones to stay close – even though I push everyone away, I need them to stay close!! If it were up to me, I would push everyone away – but I know that’s not the right thing to do for me to stay well, I know that verbalising the pain helps.

Minute by minute, moment by moment, one day at a time – I promise to stay in this fight.

It may battle me; but it won’t beat me

 https://youtu.be/KhQ5seprs6s

Last Day On Earth – Kate Miller

 

NACCHO #WorldSuicidePreventionDay 10 September : Connect, communicate, care

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Connect, communicate, care’ is the theme of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September). These three words are at the heart of suicide prevention and complement the efforts of our friends on R U OK? Day (8 September) to raise public awareness about the importance of having a conversation and, most importantly, how.

A big focus for the sector this WSPD is a research project with UNE to help us understand  the magnitude of suicide in Australia and its impact on our communities. The survey has now closed with results will be launched today 10 September.

This World Suicide Prevention Day we’d like you to help us create a positive ripple effect, with as many suicide prevention awareness raising events as possible being held in Australia on or around World Suicide Prevention Day. Check out the Events page to see what’s happened near you.

CHECK OUT WSPD Events page

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“It is totally unacceptable that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are experiencing the highest rate of youth suicide in the world among young Indigenous men aged 25-29.

“Improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is one of Australia’s highest health priorities and a whole-of-system reflection is urgently needed.”

Dr Frank R Jones, president of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners PRESS RELEASE

Read all previous NACCHO Suicide prevention Articles ( Approx. 79 )

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males are experiencing the highest rate of youth suicide in the world and health outcomes for all young Australians – particularly the disadvantaged – are falling. These disturbing results are revealed in a recent report Australian Youth Development Index 2016.

Commenting on the report, Dr Frank R Jones, president of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said that for GPs the report re-enforced the central concept that health risks not only affect a young person’s current state of health but also their health in years to come.

The other main health risk-related issues identified for youth between the ages of 15 and 29 years included alcohol, illicit drugs, sexually transmitted infections, obesity and mental illness.

“The report describes very worrying health trends among Australia’s youth and without urgent policy action to improve contextual social support systems and preventive healthcare services, it will get worse,” Dr Jones said.

The report, providing a snapshot of Australia’s 6.3 million young people aged between 10 and 29 years, reveals a significant decline in health and wellbeing since 2006, bucking the trend of other indicators which have seen positive increases such as educational attainment, employment opportunities and political engagement.

In addition to Indigenous disadvantage, marked disparities were found between urban and rural groups confirming inequities in health access and outcomes widening gaps for both groups.

“Whilst globally this report showed Australia had comparatively high youth development, it is clear there remains uneven results for our most disadvantaged young people confirming inequalities in social and health practices.

“We need to do more in terms of prevention and service responsiveness, particularly in areas of mental health care and drug abuse issues,” Dr Jones said.

“GPs play a crucial role in the provision of mental health services for all Australians but particularly so in rural and remote areas where there are less resources.”

RACGP Rural has been at the forefront in providing the necessary educational supports in the mental health arena, for our GP members who sometimes work in extremely challenging conditions.

Dr Jones said the RACGP is committed to raising awareness of the health needs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is a key signatory to the Close the Gap campaign.

The absence of an indicator around mental wellness limited the results in the report and needs capturing in future studies to help guide more supportive policy action in adolescent health interventions.

The RACGP believes in the equitable provision of health services and the discrepancy between health outcomes for youth in rural and urban areas, and youths of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is unacceptable.

Help

NACCHO Aboriginal Health news:Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Close The gap

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience suicide at around twice the rate of the rest of the population. Aboriginal teenage men and women are up to 5.9 times more likely to take their own lives than non-Aboriginal people,”

Mr Mohamed said in a recent NACCHO press release (below)

Let’s talk about what can be done by neighbourhoods and workplaces to identify and support people at risk. Let’s see if we can agree about what is best done by families, what by mental health professionals, what by government agencies.

It’s a big ask but let us all think for some moments this week about what we personally can do, and whether there is someone in our personal network who would benefit from a chat about mental stress, or loneliness, or alienation.

Doing nothing won’t help. Doing something may

SUICIDE PREVENTION AUSTRALIA

NACCHO press release

READ previous NACCHO articles on suicide prevention here

Former Federal Mental Health Minister Mark Butler recently released the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy which aims to address Aboriginal suicide rates – which are as high as one a month is some remote Aboriginal communities.

NACCHO Chair Justin Mohamed said the Federal Government’s focus on the issue, particularly the emphasis on local solutions and capacity building, is welcomed, however he said the detail of the plan still needs careful examination.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience suicide at around twice the rate of the rest of the population. Aboriginal teenage men and women are up to 5.9 times more likely to take their own lives than non-Aboriginal people,” Mr Mohamed said.

“This is a crisis affecting our young people. It’s critical real action is taken to urgently to address the issue and it’s heartening to see the Federal Government taking steps to do that.”

However Mr Mohamed said that for any strategy to be effective, local, community-led healthcare needed to be at its core.

“Historically, Aboriginal people have not had great experiences with the mental health system, so breaking down the barriers and building trust is going to be key and having Aboriginal people involved in the delivery of services is critical.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations are already having the biggest impacts on holistic improvements in Aboriginal health, including mental health. We are already a trusted source of primary health care within our communities, so its important those centres play a pivotal role in any strategy.

“The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector has always recommended that services be funded to offer an integrated social and emotional wellbeing program with Aboriginal family support workers, alcohol and substance abuse workers, social workers and psychologists available.

“Up to 15 per cent of the 10-year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians has been put down to mental health conditions. We look forward to working with the government to map out the best possible approach to addressing this crisis in our community.

Media contact: Colin Cowell 0401 331 251,