Lifeline welcomes report as blueprint for Indigenous-led suicide prevention
Lifeline Australia welcomes the release of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) report, which outlines the need for Indigenous-led suicide prevention activities across the country.
Lifeline Research Foundation Executive Director Alan Woodward said that Solutions that Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us highlights that, with Indigenous people twice as likely to die by suicide as non-Indigenous people, we as a country need to change our approach to the issue.
“The ATSISPEP report shows that we need to move towards evidence based, evaluated, community-led, Indigenous suicide prevention programs that address ‘upstream’ factors like alcohol and drug use, family dysfunction and social and emotional wellbeing challenges, as well as more targeted interventions aimed at groups with a higher risk of suicide,” Mr Woodward said.
“Success factors identified in the ATSISPEP report will assist greatly in focusing efforts to reduce suicides.
“The report’s recommendation around the lifesaving importance of 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services is backed up by Lifeline’s more than 50 years’ experience in this field. 
“And while data collected by our crisis supporters indicates that 4 per cent of the contacts to our 13 11 14 crisis line are from Indigenous people, we acknowledge that we need to do more and better to help stop Indigenous suicide.
“As highlighted by the ATSISPEP report, we need to start putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the centre of the country’s suicide prevention activities. This involves promoting genuine collaboration, leadership and ownership.”
As part of its commitment to do better, and with its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy to be informed by the ATSISPEP recommendations, Lifeline Australia recently met with the NT Government and key stakeholders in Darwin to discuss how it can help reduce suicide in the Top End and beyond.
“Lifeline believes this report can act as a blueprint for our own activities and, together with our own consultation with Indigenous leaders and agencies, ensure we can help build on the extraordinary strength and resilience found in so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,”
Mr Woodward said.
“This also means understanding and confronting the injustices that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have suffered – and continue to suffer – since colonisation more than 200 years ago.”
To view Solutions that Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us, click here.
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.
INTERVIEWS: to request comment, please contact [email protected] or 0408 407 376.