New NATSICC coun­cil to fo­cus on youth sui­cide pre­ven on

Broome Advertiser - - News -

The 2018 Na onal Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Catholic Coun­cil (NATSICC) will fo­cus on find­ing new ways to sup­port ru­ral and re­gional com­muni es to pre­vent youth sui­cide. The tragedy of youth sui­cide was a ma­jor sub­ject of re­cent dis­cus­sions at the Perth Na onal Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Catholic Coun­cil (NATSICC) Assem­bly where more than 300 del­e­gates gath­ered from through­out Aus­tralia to ex­plore the theme “Strong Faith – Strong Youth – Strong Fu­ture”. NATSICC na onal youth coun­cil­lor Sab­rina-Ann Stevens, aged 27, from Cairns in far North Queens­land, said this was a ma­jor is­sue within re­gional and re­mote com­muni es. With the sui­cide rate of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples more than twice the rate of non-In­dige­nous Aus­tralians, na onal sta s cs show that ATSI peo­ple tend to also take their own lives at younger ages than non-In­dige­nous Aus­tralians, with the ma­jor­ity of sui­cide deaths oc­cur­ring be­fore the age of 35. “But many el­ders are ask­ing me for ideas on how we can get our young peo­ple in­volved in the Church so that they have a sense of be­long­ing and to cre­ate a greater sense of com­mu­nity,” Miss Stevens said, “I think if young peo­ple had a greater con­nec on with their spir­i­tu­al­ity, and their faith, then they can over­come what­ever strug­gles they’re fac­ing be­cause they’re meant for more … a higher pur­pose within their In­dige­nous com­muni es as well as in their faith com­mu­nity. “We’d like to find ways to work closer with exis ng ser­vices and sup­port ser­vices to im­prove youth men­tal health and well­be­ing through­out Aus­tralia, but re­ally fo­cus in on re­mote and re­gional Abo­rig­i­nal com­muni es where there is real need for help,” she said.

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