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Date posted: 22 April 2014
Thirty-one Indigenous Elders from Northern Australia have contributed to a new report addressing self-harm and suicide prevention amongst Indigenous communities: The Elders' report into preventing Indigenous self-harm and suicide.
The report was produced as a part of the Culture is life campaign in response to the large increase in Indigenous self-harm and suicide that has occurred in the northern Australia over the past 20 years, with one community recording the highest rate for youth Indigenous suicide in the world.
The report introduction is written by Professor Pat Dudgeon, Co-chair of the Aboriginal Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group for the National Mental Health Commission, and valued Social and Emotional Wellbeing reference group member at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.
In the introduction Professor Dudgeon writes that while there is no clear diagnosis to the 'crisis', there are a number of 'key drivers' behind it: 'The brutal history of colonisation, the inter-generational trauma left by the Stolen generations policy, and ongoing racism, combined with everyday realities in many Aboriginal communities such as unemployment, poverty, overcrowding, social marginalisation and access to alcohol and drugs.'
A key consensus in the report is the link between cultural identity and positive social and emotional wellbeing among Indigenous youth, with loss of cultural identity and cross-cultural confusion being attributed to the increased rates of self-harm and suicide.
Source: ABC News and Culture is life
Culture is life
Max Dulumunmun Harrison