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 fact sheet describes the four elements of the community-wide reliance model – fire, water, land and air – and how they relate to spirit, purpose, belonging, identity, hope, healing and meaning. Source: Northern Territory PHN

One hour e-learning course for practitioners who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities. It has been developed with the support and guidance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to develop the knowledge and skills required to support families’ resilience. Source: Emerging Minds

Financial stress refers to the anxiety and pressure individuals experience when they struggle to meet their monetary obligations, be it short-term expenses or long-term debts. Source: 13YARN

Our mob has strong community values and places great emphasis on care, respect, and love, but sometimes things can go wrong. Struggling with domestic violence? There is always a hand stretched out for you. Source: 13YARN

Resources for teaching Indigenous and non-Indigenous students from kindergarten to Year 9 about the Stolen Generations and the continuing consequences of colonisation and intergenerational trauma, including: Video interviews with Stolen Generations survivors Lesson plans A home learning kit for students to work with their families Posters and visuals Source: Healing Foundation

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

Evidence-based practice resource which links approaches to engagement and support with a discussion of the evidence for them. Source: Orygen Youth Health

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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Coroner's Court Resources

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