Strong messages on the importance of self-determination, decolonisation and Indigenous governance featured among Indigenous suicide prevention resources profiled by Professor Pat Dudgeon and the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) when guest tweeting for @WePublicHealth last week.
Below are some of the resources that were shared, to help mark World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), on 10 September.
Pat Dudgeon writes:
Suicide is the culmination of cultural wounds inflicted on Indigenous community ways of knowing, being and doing since colonisation, which requires collective, community-based cultural healing and community-driven empowerment solutions.
Self-determination and decolonisation are key discourses, strategies and essential conditions to create hope and sustainable futures for Indigenous peoples.
Self-determination in suicide prevention means Indigenous communities having control over the process of prevention and healing.
See this: National COVID-19 Pandemic Issues Paper on Mental Health and Wellbeing For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
We need reliable data about Indigenous suicides and attempts during COVID-19, and mental health support that honours our culture.
Solutions that work
See this: Solutions that work. What the evidence and our people tell us.
This report provides an Indigenous strengths based analysis of suicide prevention, which examines the complex interactions between families, communities and historical, social and cultural determinants of health.
Each suicide death is different, and at the population level the causes of suicide are multi-layered which requires a comprehensive response to Indigenous suicide.
Social and emotional wellbeing
See this: Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice.
Understanding the complex, holistic Indigenous conceptual paradigm of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing is vital to any work in Indigenous health, mental health and suicide prevention.
Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia (GDPSA) have been asked by the Australian Government to renew the 2013 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (NATSISPS) in consultation with stakeholders and community members.
Here is the discussion paper.
See this: Indigenous Governance for Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
Suicide deaths have increased and remain the leading cause of death for Indigenous young people age 15-24, where it accounts for one in three deaths. There is a need for a comprehensive, multilayered response to reduce Indigenous suicide in children and young people.
There is widespread support for a dedicated, strengths-based National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention, with a strategy and implementation plan to be co-designed with Indigenous leadership bodies, including youth leadership groups, to address yough suicide as a key priority.
See this: A Global and National Overview of Suicide and Indigenous Suicide
This found that Indigenous suicide deaths are increasing in Australia and in countries with a similar colonial history. All Indigenous suicide prevention should include community-specific and community-led programs focused on healing and strengthening social and emotional wellbeing, cultural renewal, and improving the social determinants of health.
See this: Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences – Call For Action
More than 550 delegates at World Suicide Prevention conference united on the need to address impacts of colonisation and subsequent trauma, ongoing disadvantage and lack of government action on Indigenous issues, and the need for healing and suicide prevention.
See this: Staying Strong and Healthy during the Coronavirus Outbreak (free posters)
Here are 20 tips to staying healthy & strong during the coronavirus outbreak. Focus on all the good things you can do to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. For more information and free resources head to our website.
Learning from Elders
See this: The Elders Report.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services provide culturally safe service, countering cultural racism. They are also manifestations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people’s right to self determination.
From the Kimberley
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