Funds boost tar­gets fam­ily well­be­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr If you or some­one you know is think­ing about sui­cide phone Life­line on 13 11 14.

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.

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