State government announces regional specific funding into suicide prevention

State focuses on Aboriginal suicide prevention

Regional aboriginal health providers hope the new state government funding into suicide prevention will provide more opportunities for education, awareness and partnership.

On July 23, the state government announced it would inject $10 million to develop and implement a region-by-region approach to Aboriginal suicide prevention in Western Australia.

The regional plans will prioritise Aboriginal-led and locally endorsed initiatives that accommodate a culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing approach to suicide prevention.

This includes the principles: nothing for Aboriginal people without Aboriginal people; enable Aboriginal-led solutions; and cultural understanding and respect.

GP down south is a regional health provider which operate Nidjalla Waangan Mia, an Aboriginal health service in the Peel region.

Regional communications manager for Aboriginal health services George Walley said the government's principles were really important to the implementation of suicide prevention initiatives.

"I would like to see this funding as an opportunity for local Aboriginal organisations to work in partnership with health providers," he said.

"It is really imperative we engage with Aboriginals to lead the way."

Mr Walley said there could be an opportunity for GP down south to partner with Winjan Aboriginal Corporation in providing suicide prevention initiatives.

He said it would be good to see initiatives implemented in schools to ensure young people gain resilience.

"We need to give them strategies so as they grow older they know how to cope but also know where to go for help," he said.

"Awareness should start where resilience needs to be built and nurtured as well."

Mental health minister Roger Cook said after extensive consultation the government had identified a need for better culturally appropriate Aboriginal suicide prevention plans.

Aboriginal Affairs minister Ben Wyatt said the government has listened and were committed to providing local solutions.

South West Aboriginal Medical Service already have a suicide prevention program in place which includes two prevention workers and a counsellor who specialises in the field.

The team travel around the region providing services and a safe place for people to have a yarn.

SWAMS spokesperson Cassandra Budge said the organisation would continue to explore any opportunities for more funding which would allow for a bigger reach of the current service.

Clients can contact them for safe talk and yarn at our Bunbury clinic on 9726 6000.

If you need to talk to someone, or know of someone in a crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the suicide call back service on 1300 659 467.

This story State focuses on Aboriginal suicide prevention first appeared on Mandurah Mail.