Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44 years? And that suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is twice that of non-Indigenous Australians?
The rate of suicide and self harm amongst Aboriginal people has reached crisis levels.Creative Spirits
As Aboriginal people, we face very diverse social circumstances and psychological risk factors that contribute to suicide and suicidal behaviour. Therefore, it’s important for our community and stakeholders to have conversations around this topic.
Professor Pat Dudgeon from the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia is leading a project to formally evaluate what works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention. We were honoured to be invited to co-host the Shoalhaven community roundtable for this National Suicide Prevention Project.
Yesterday at the Quest Nowra, stakeholders from Shoalhaven discussed the critical issues pertaining to community suicide prevention needs. The roundtable provided the opportunity for local people to share what works well and what doesn’t work so well.
This provided the evidence base to potentially influence decision makers on how to better invest in reducing suicide rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The outcomes of the project will assist to inform the development of an evaluation framework that can measure the effectiveness of different suicide prevention measures.
Underpinned by an appreciation for successful community initiatives, we believe we can begin to effectively address the complex issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide.