Manual of Resources for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

Clinicians & Front-line Workers

Resources for Clinicians & Front-line Workforces

Clinicians, including psychologists, psychiatrists, emergency medicine specialists, GPs and nurses, have important roles to play in supporting the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and in preventing suicide.

Other front-line workers who provide services to Indigenous people can also make essential contributions. Social workers, youth workers, and any staff who support community programs and services, need to understand how Indigenous people may exhibit distress and how to respond to individuals, families and whole communities.

For some professionals, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s mental health and social and emotional wellbeing will be part of their education, training and supervision. For many others, their development in these domains will occur in the workplace, with limited formal oversight.

All workforces need to understand how to work with Indigenous people in a culturally responsive and safe way that supports positive and trusting relationships.

This section of the Manual includes resources that apply in all these situations.

Resources

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This resources describes how past traumas can have a lasting effect on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including new generations. Source: Trauma & Grief Network

This Powerpoint presentation describes the roles of language and culture in the social and emotional wellbeing of people in the East Kimberley. From a 2019 Empowered Communities workshop. Source: Binarri Binyja Yarrawoo

Nathan Sutherland - one of only two hundred psychologists in Australia who identify as Aboriginal - talks about how to seek support from friends, family, community and healthcare professionals. Source: Desert Pea Media/WNSWPHN

This 1.5 hour webinar brought together young people and experts to discuss lived experience of Intergenerational Trauma and strategies for creating positive intergenerational change. Speakers include: Professor Helen Milroy, a leader in Indigenous mental health and trauma Tonii Skeen, youth advocate Karlie Stewart, youth advocate · Joel Wenitong, community mentor

ATSISPEP: Report of the Critical Response Pilot Project

Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Principles and Practice

A series of conversations about promoting social and emotional wellbeing and preventing suicides in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, recorded by Luke Pearson from Indigenous X and featuring: Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Birri-Gubba Juru and Bidjara woman from Queensland Aunty Lorraine Peeters, Managing Director and Facilitator of Winangali-Marumali from the Gamilaroi and Wailwun Nations Richard Weston, former CEO of the Healing Foundation, descendant from Meriam People of Torres Strait Source: Everymind

ATSISPEP: Maps and Visual Insights

Policies & Position Statements

From Clinical and Peak Groups

This section of the Manual outlines the policies and positions of key groups in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, highlights the commitments of these groups to improving outcomes for Indigenous people, and describes the expectations on their members.

Professional bodies and sector peak organisations have a strong influence on how their members practise. This is true at an individual level, in terms of professional standards and continuing professional development. It also applies at an organisational level, as service providers influence and are influenced by the collective decisions of peak groups.

Australia has multiple Indigenous organisations which focus holistically on the health, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and/or on the education and employment of Indigenous people in health professions.

Mainstream clinical professional representative organisations may be less focused on and/or less capable in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The intersection between clinical and cultural support may sometimes be a particular challenge for mainstream clinicians.

Published policies and positions with regard to the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from both groups are summarised here.

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AIPA provides leadership on issues related to the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Coalition of Peaks is made up of more than 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled peak and member organisations across Australia that have come together as an act of self-determination to work with Australian governments on a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, agreed in 2020.

Guidelines for Best Practice Psychosocial Assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Presenting to Hospital with Self-harm and Suicidal Thoughts

Human Services Standards Evidence Guide

IAHA is a national, member-based organisation that leads sector workforce development and support, to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The AMA has an extensive body of policy statements and submissions in relation to the health of Aboriginal people.

Implementing Integrated Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

Cultural Respect Framework 2016-2026 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Coroner's Court Resources

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