Council applauds Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy, May 2013

The Mental Health Council of Australia today welcomed the announcement of the first national whole-of-government suicide prevention strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“This strategy was one of the many recommendations of The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia report, following the Senate Enquiry into Suicide in Australia, back in 2010, so we see this as a very positive step forward in preventing Indigenous suicide,” Mental Health Council of Australia CEO Frank Quinlan said today.

“Suicide is a serious issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, with the prevalence twice as high as the non-Indigenous population.

“The Council believes that with a well-funded and carefully delivered strategy, there is potential for real change in the lives of Indigenous people and their communities.

“We know the importance of real consultation with Indigenous communities to ensure profound, lasting and meaningful change, and this strategy supports this engagement.

“Suicide has a devastating and long lasting impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their communities. For a long time Australia has needed to take steps to address this issue.

“The injection of $17.8 million over four years is a positive investment. In addition, the commitment to strong Indigenous engagement is welcome news.

“We commend the Federal Government for making this a priority in 2013.”

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