Youth suicide prevention must be community based

9 March, 2016

WA Greens Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said a new approach for Aboriginal people, by Aboriginal people, must be sought to tackle increasing rates of Aboriginal youth suicide.

“What happened over the weekend in the Kimberley with the apparent suicide of a 10-year-old girl is absolutely tragic, and my heart goes out to her family and community,” Mr Chapple said.

“Unfortunately, this situation is becoming all-too-familiar; prevention should be sought through culture and community wellness, not by throwing money at band aid cures.

“Current policies that provide after-incident care to families and communities are contributing little towards addressing the grass roots causes of Indigenous youth suicide.

“Many Aboriginal communities are experiencing feelings of uncertainty about their culture, about their heritage and about their future and this permeates through communities to the young and most vulnerable.”

Mr Chapple said a national Elder’s report into preventing Indigenous Self-harm and Youth Suicide, published in 2014, has been largely ignored by the Barnett Government.

“Traditional suicide prevention methodology is simply not working and I think it is high time the Barnett government stop simply throwing more grants at the problem and listen to community leaders,” he said.

“I would urge Minister Morton to read, or re-read, this report and strongly consider its recommendations in the context of many of her government’s current objectives.”

For more information please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

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