The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy aims to reduce the cause, prevalence and impact of suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, their families and communities. It encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ holistic view of mental health, physical, cultural and spiritual health. There is an early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.
The six goals key goals are to:
- Reduce the incidence and impact of suicide and suicidal behaviour in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and in specific communities affected by suicide.
- Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and populations are supported within available resources to respond to high levels of suicide and/or self-harming behaviour with effective prevention strategies.
- Implement effective activities that reduce the presence and impact of risk factors that contribute to suicide outcomes in the short, medium and long term and across the lifespan.
- Build the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the workforce in fields related to suicide prevention, early intervention and social and emotional wellbeing through the provision of training, skills and professional qualifications at all levels.
- Build the evidence base to support effective action and to evaluate the outcomes of suicide prevention activity at local, regional and national levels.
- Make high quality resources, information and methods to support suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples available across all contexts and circumstances.
The national strategy commits the government to genuinely engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop local, culturally appropriate strategies to identify and respond to those most at risk within our communities.
The strategy has been informed by extensive community consultation with 14 community meetings held across Australia attended by 446 people, a national expert workshop, and a website that received 48 contributions directly from the community.
The Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Commission will align WA activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with the national strategy.