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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ATSISPEP: Report of the Critical Response Pilot Project

CBPATSISP Tools & Checklists This link takes you to listings of clinical tools and checklists on the main CBPATSISP website, with separate sections for: - Social and emotional wellbeing assessment - Mental health outcome measures - Stress and trauma assessment - Youth Assessment - Suicide risk assessment - Perinatal mental health assessment

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 fact sheet describes a community-wide resilience model, developed in the Northern Territory through the National Suicide Prevention Trial. Source: Northern Territory PHN

Contracting for Indigenous Health Care: Towards Mutual Accountability

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

This short resource gives advice about how to start an inclusive conversation in a community about preventing suicide. Source: Everymind

This resources describes how grief, loss and intergenerational trauma can affect children, and gives advice to families about how to respond. Source: Trauma & Grief Network

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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The Australian College of Emergency Medicine, which represents emergency department doctors, notes that Indigenous people use Emergency Departments almost twice as frequently as non-Indigenous people - representing 3 per cent of the population but 5.6 per cent of ED visits.

The APS promotes its advocacy on Indigenous issues; among its public actions it has made a formal apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and funded a bursary for Indigenous psychology students.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions including the forced removal of children from their families.

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.

The LIME Network advocates for improved teaching and learning about Indigenous health in medical schools, as well as for best practice in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical students and trainees.

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.

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

Coroner's Court Resources

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