SUICIDE PREVENTION TRIAL: LINKING CULTURE AND CARE IN DARWIN

DARWIN ROUNDATABLE 15 MARCH 2019

Resolutions from the sixth meeting of the Darwin Suicide Prevention Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Trial will continue to drive ways to lower suicide rates in the Top End.

 

Government representatives and local stakeholders met in Darwin on 15 March 2019, as part of the National Suicide Prevention Trial which aims to reduce suicides in the Darwin region, particularly among First Australians.

 

Specific priorities identified at the meeting included the need for cultural competency and trauma care; and local workforce development, particularly the training and employment of First Australians. The need for suicide prevention programs to include elements of connection to culture and land was also emphasised.

 

The committee discussed prevention and early intervention activities, how the crisis response measures were working, and how to improve and expand on what was working well on the ground.

 

Following development of the Strengthening Our Spirits model which reflects a local systems-based approach to suicide prevention in the Greater Darwin region, fourteen activities were identified as priorities for commissioning.

 

Activities include opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to connect to culture in order to build cultural identity and promote wellbeing, skills training and awareness raising suicide prevention programs for community members and families, as well as strengthening community participation and ownership of suicide prevention events, campaigns and initiatives.

It was clear communities are keen to work together on solutions which address suicide in the Darwin community, and what we need to do differently to support communities that are at risk of suicide.

 

Minister Wyatt asked all representatives to report on suicide prevention activity undertaken by their respective organisations.

 

To ensure the best outcomes from collective efforts, an appraisal will be made of the activities which organisations have engaged in as well as the linkages they have made with other agencies in providing suicide prevention support. This information will then be shared amongst the relevant organisations and government.

 

Suicide prevention is a shared responsibility involving all levels of government, agencies and community working across many fronts, and this exercise will strengthen coordination and planning across organisations.