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Wellbeing and healing through connection and culture

This review summarises the emerging research and knowledge, key themes and principles surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural perspectives and concepts of healing and social and emotional wellbeing as they relate to suicide prevention.

At Lifeline we know from experience that common to all of us is the need for human connection. It gives us the strength to hope. 

For our First Nation’s Peoples experience of connection to culture and concepts of healing are unique.  To acknowledge this strength and seek to understand the hope it brings, Lifeline commissioned the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention to undertake the first literature review of its kind and make recommendations on their findings in the report.

We are grateful to the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention for partnering with us to undertake this important work.  We especially acknowledge the report’s authors, Professor Pat Dudgeon, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Associate Professor Roz Walker, Dr Abigail Bray and Tania Dalton.

This is a significant contribution to our Nation’s understanding of the key themes and principles surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural perspectives and concepts of healing and social and emotional wellbeing as they relate to suicide prevention.

The recommendations made in this report will inform Lifeline Australia’s way forward.  They will assist Lifeline and other services to deliver culturally competent and appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  They will be used to enhance our existing service delivery through collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, culturally responsive training programs and program development right across Australia.  Most importantly, the recommendations of the report lay the groundwork for Lifeline to support delivery of a culturally responsive Indigenous designed and delivered national crisis line.

I also acknowledge the support of Servier, who have been great supporters of Lifeline for eight years.  The team at Servier provided the funding for this report and in so doing, initiated an inspiring opportunity for Lifeline to contribute further to the vision of an Australia free of suicide, and in particular to reducing suicide amongst First Nations people.

John Brogden,

Chairman, Lifeline Australia

Find out more

Find out more about the report from these short videos

Professor Pat Dudgeon, Director, Centre of Best Practice In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

Leilani Darwin, Head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre, Black Dog Institute

Rob McPhee, Operations Manager, Kimberley Aboriginal Health Service