Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project Report
Indigenous suicide is a significant population health challenge for Australia. Suicide has emerged in the past half century as a major cause of Indigenous premature mortality and is a contributor to the overall Indigenous health and life expectancy gap. In 2014 it was the fifth leading cause of death among Indigenous people, and the age-standardised suicide rate was around twice as high as the non-Indigenous rate.1 In this report, the term ‘Indigenous’ is predominantly used to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Where used to refer to Indigenous people of other nations, this is specifically addressed. Indigenous children and young people are particularly vulnerable,2 comprising 30% of the suicide deaths among those under 18 years of age.3 In addition, Indigenous 15–24 year olds are over five times as likely to suicide as their non-Indigenous peers.4 ‘Suicide clusters’, or a series of suicide completions and/or self-harming acts that occur within a single community or locale over a period of weeks or months, is also a significant concern, particularly among younger people.5 As males represent the significant majority of completed Indigenous suicides, gender can also be understood as a risk factor. However, the number of suicides and increasing self-harm among Indigenous females is an ongoing concern.6 National responses to general population suicide began in the 1990s and include the current 1999 National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS).7 Within the latter, the Living is For Everyone (LiFE) Framework is an evidence-based national strategic policy framework for suicide prevention. In May 2013, the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (NATSISPS) was launched.8 The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) arose from Indigenous community members, leaders in mental health and suicide prevention and the Australian Government who shared an intention that the implementation of the NATSISPS, and the funds pledged towards it, should be impactful and should reduce suicide in Indigenous communities. The parties also shared concern that more formal approaches should be adopted to identify a sufficiently robust evidence-base on which NATSISPS implementation could proceed.
[For more go to http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.ed...Report-Final-Web.pdf]