In response to the recent high rate of suicide deaths among Indigenous young people and children, and the Western Australian Coroner’s report of the Inquest into the 13 Deaths of Children and Young Persons in the Kimberley Region, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (ATSIMHSPAG) and Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPASTSISP) supported by the Commonwealth Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) hosted an Empowerment and Accountability in Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention workshop on the 30th April 2019 in Canberra. The workshop enabled participants to hear directly from Elders and Indigenous youth leaders in suicide prevention, Indigenous young people with lived experience of suicide, and mental health consumers about their concerns and ideas for reducing Indigenous youth suicide.
- The workshop enabled participants to hear directly from Elders and Indigenous youth leaders in suicide prevention, Indigenous young people with lived experience of suicide, and mental health consumers about their concerns and ideas for reducing Indigenous youth suicide.
- The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) supports a dedicated national plan and strategic response to Indigenous suicide co-designed by Indigenous leadership bodies, people with lived experience, stakeholders and community representatives.
- A priority within this plan would be a national response to child and youth suicide developed under Indigenous youth leadership.The plan would also be integrated with the overarching COAG Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan implementation process and the development of a (mainstream) national suicide prevention plan.
- The workshop attendees agreed that there needs to be investment in community sports and other youth/recreation facilities/engagement activities, to address boredom/isolation and give young people a way to engage the disengaged - social movements/protest in a healing way rather than internalising it.
- Support is needed for ‘courageous conversations’ in communities about youth suicide issues -addressing taboos, homophobia, bullying, family violence, child sexual abuse. Workshop attendees explored ‘How do we as parents and adults encourage, connect and nurture our youth/ children?'