Funding of $17.8 million over four years has been announced to support the first national whole-of-government strategy specifically addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide.
The development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy was recommended by a Senate inquiry into suicide in Australia in 2011.
Focus on early intervention
The new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy focuses on early intervention and building stronger communities with the aim of reducing the prevalence of suicide and the impact on individuals, their families and communities.
Figures show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing suicide within their communities at approximately twice the rate of the rest of the population.
The Strategy identifies six broad action areas: building strengths and capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; building strengths and resilience in individuals and families; targeted suicide prevention services; coordinating approaches to prevention; building the evidence base and disseminating information; and standards and quality in suicide prevention.
The $17.8 million in funding aims to support the establishment of local suicide prevention networks as well as a centre of best practice to support community-led activities and share knowledge in suicide prevention across the nation.
Those activities are to be developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The strategy was developed to guide the delivery of more community-focused, holistic and integrated approaches to suicide prevention, while also encouraging the development of increased coordination between Commonwealth and state or territory governments and across departments.
More information is available from this PS News link.