Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hear Our Voices : Empowering Aboriginal communities the key to suicide prevention

Report Cover © Image by
Kathleen Cox, Goombaragin Images, 2012
A comprehensive research report into the high rates of suicide in the Kimberley has called for a major change in the way prevention programs are designed and delivered that will both empower and heal Aboriginal communities.

The Hear Our Voices Report   found that Aboriginal communities had a clear desire to lead their own healing initiatives, based on the value of life, culture and community. Report co-author and study leader Professor Pat Dudgeon said this report goes beyond the statistics and listens to the wisdom within the Aboriginal communities.

"The Kimberley communities want to take ownership of finding a solution," Professor Dudgeon said. "People spoke of the overwhelming need to heal at an individual, family and community level and the need to help young people reconnect with their culture, their family and themselves. This fits with evidence we have from other studies and also from Canada that fostering a secure sense of personal and cultural identity is a powerful protective factor against the threat of self-harm."

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