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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Jenny Molyneux provides mental health counselling to four remote NSW communities. She talks about the importance of building trust and relationships, meeting people in their own communities, and committing to being there for the long term. Source: Desert Pea Media/WNSWPHN

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

Human Services Standards Evidence Guide

This toolkit helps people to recognise and take action where there is a risk of suicide. Source: Lifeline Information Services

This guide is based on the principles described in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP). It shows how communities can identify sources of funding and host organisations for community projects, and outlines the information required to make a successful grant application. Note: This 2017 resource is under review Source: Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

Depression is a deep sadness that sticks around for weeks, months or even years. Sometimes, we don't realise that we're carrying it, or we don't yarn about it. With the right support, you can begin healing your way for a better life. Source: 13YARN

ATSISPEP: Report of the Critical Response Pilot Project

Glossary of Healing Terms

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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CATSINaM is the peak advocacy body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives in Australia.

Human Services Standards Evidence Guide

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

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

NACCHO represents the Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation (ACCHO) sector, which offers primary health-care to Indigenous communities across Australia

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.

Coroner's Court Resources

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