MPs say sui­cide trial must do more

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

The Fed­eral Govern­ment has been urged to “get on the ground” to tackle the sui­cide is­sue in the Kim­ber­ley, af­ter a visit to the re­gion by the shadow as­sis­tant min­is­ter for men­tal health.

La­bor Se­na­tor Deb­o­rah O’Neill met men­tal health ser­vice providers and com­mu­nity lead­ers last week to in­ves­ti­gate the im­pact of the Govern­ment’s sui­cide pre­ven­tion trial, one of 12 that have been rolled out across the na­tion.

The trial, an elec­tion com­mit­ment of the La­bor Party, was im­ple­mented by the Turn­bull Govern­ment in recog­ni­tion of the high rate of sui­cide in the Kim­ber­ley, which is more than six times the na­tional av­er­age.

But af­ter meet­ing with the Bidyadanga Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Med­i­cal Ser­vices and Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Law and Cul­ture Cen­tre, Ms O’Neill said not enough was be­ing done with the $3 mil­lion al­lo­cated to the trial.

“It is clear to me from my visit that there are deep and real prob­lems in com­mu­ni­ties across the Kim­ber­ley re­gion,” she said.

“Meet­ing with el­ders in Bidyadanga left a very sig­nif­i­cant im­pres­sion on me that there is pro­found and un­met need in that com­mu­nity.

“They are sim­ply not get­ting an ad­e­quate re­sponse from the Govern­ment.

“If the largest Abo­rig­i­nal re­mote com­mu­nity in the Kim­ber­ley isn’t get­ting the at­ten­tion it needs, it gives me se­ri­ous con­cerns about how this money is be­ing used.

“There are sto­ries of trauma that seem to have been em­bed­ded over a pe­riod of time and it is very clear that more needs to be done.”

WA La­bor Se­na­tor in charge of re­gional af­fairs, Glenn Sterle, trav­elled to the Kim­ber­ley with Ms O’Neill and said their find­ings were “ab­so­lutely alarm­ing”.

Mal­colm Turn­bull met in­dige­nous lead­ers in Broome in Au­gust to dis­cuss the pre­ven­tion trial and said the Govern­ment wanted to do more to ad­dress the prob­lem.

If you or some­one you know is think­ing about sui­cide phone Life­line on 13 11 14.

Camel trainer Peter Hodge and Red Sun Camel man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Geap­pen as the camels ar­rive in Broome. Pic­ture: Robert Dougherty

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.