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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The Healing Foundation launched Stories from community: How suicide rates fell in two Indigenous communities at the Second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth on 21 November 18. The stories captured from the communities of Yarrabah and the Tiwi Islands demonstrate the power of community control and self-determination. The two case studies presented explore the dramatic fall in suicide rates across both communities, from the high rates they experienced in the 1990s.

This planning tool is based on the principles described in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP). It shows how communities can plan and lead suicide prevention projects, using essential criteria for success. Note: This 2017 resource is under review Source: Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

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

Exploration and Design

This fact sheet aims to increase understanding of loneliness, its signs, and to suggest coping strategies using the strengths from within our culture and community that can protect us against loneliness. Source: 13YARN

This evaluation framework is based on the principles described in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP). It is designed to evaluate suicide prevention activities that are already underway, and to provide guidance around evaluation while in the planning stages. Note: This 2017 resource is under review Source: Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

Short video describing the concept of social and emotional wellbeing. Source: KidsMatter

These guidelines were developed for health workers caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying. They are not specifically about suicide but include sections on sudden death and coronial investigations, and general explanation and advice to support culturally-responsive care of a dying person and their family. Source: Queensland 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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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.

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

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

AIDA is the national body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and medical students. It promotes population parity of Indigenous medical students and doctors, as a means of achieving a culturally safe healthcare system and equitable health and life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Human Services Standards Evidence Guide

The RANZCP’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee includes Indigenous psychiatrists, non-Indigenous psychiatrists who work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and Indigenous community members who work in mental health service provision and policy development.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has a Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Its Council is chaired by Wiradjuri man Associate Professor Peter O’Mara and includes GPs and representatives from NACCHO and AIDA.

Coroner's Court Resources

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