Funds boost targets family wellbeing
An Aboriginal family wellbeing program will be rolled out in the Pilbara to address social and emotional health risks in indigenous communities.
The State Government has contributed $1 million over two years towards the regional selfharm and suicide prevention pilot project.
The project includes an accredited six-month certificate II training program delivered by the WA Mental Health Commission, Aboriginal Health Council of WA and Aboriginal Medical Services across the State.
AHCWA chairwoman Michelle Nelson-Cox said the initiative would ensure Aboriginal Medical Services had at least one staff member skilled in delivering the program.
At least six trainers will be introduced to the Pilbara, Kimberley and Goldfields in the first year of the program.
“This is about building the skills and confidence of our social and emotional wellbeing teams across all Aboriginal Medical Services so they can identify communities where there is real need to strengthen family wellbeing and, in turn, self-harm and suicide prevention strategies,” she said.
“Statistics show that the suicide rate for indigenous Australians is almost twice the rate for non-indigenous Australians. “The suicide rate of our young people aged 15 to 19 is five times as high as non-indigenous Australians.”
Ms Nelson-Cox said she hoped the new program would lead to real health benefits in Aboriginal communities.
Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said the project would address risk factors of the social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal people.
Mr Cook said the framework would make addressing health inequalities faced by Aboriginal people a priority.