New Paper Presents an Overview of Recommendations to the Go8 Roadmap Report

24 September 2020 Roadmap to Recovery: Reporting on a Research Taskforce Supporting Indigenous Responses to COVID-19 in Australia ABSTRACT In April 2020 a Group of Eight Taskforce was convened, consisting of over 100 researchers, to provide independent, research-based recommendations to the Commonwealth Government on a “Roadmap to Recovery” from COVID-19. The report covered issues ranging from pandemic control and relaxation of social distancing measures, to wellbeing and special considerations for vulnerable populations. Our work focused on the critical needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; this paper presents an overview of our recommendations to the Roadmap report. In addressing the global challenges posed by pandemics for citizens around the world, Indigenous people are recognised as highly vulnerable. At [...]

New Paper Highlights Critical Role of Indigenous Knowledges and Methodologies

  10 September 2020 New paper highlights critical role of Indigenous knowledges and methodologies MEDIA RELEASE The Lowitja Institute today published a discussion paper that articulates how and why Indigenous knowledges and research methodologies need to be urgently recognised as critical components of transformative research in order to improve social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Lowitja Institute CEO Dr Janine Mohamed said the paper demonstrates how decolonising research will build self-determination in communities and strengthen Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Psychology. "As the paper notes: 'This is an urgent and crucial project, given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are seeking individual, family, and collective solutions to [...]

Indigenous Leaders Call for Input to Renew Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy

10 September 2020 Indigenous Leaders Call for Input to Renew Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy MEDIA RELEASE Marking World Suicide Prevention Day, Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia (GDPSA) announced the renewal of the 2013 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (NATSISPS) and called for stakeholders to make sure their voices are heard during the process. GDPSA CEO Mr Tom Brideson explained: The NATSISPS was released in May 2013. It was developed by Indigenous experts and leaders in mental health and suicide prevention and remains a sound evidence-based strategic response to Indigenous suicide. However, it also responded to a set of circumstances that have changed since 2013 and that require it to be renewed. GDPSA would like to [...]

Reducing Emissions to Protect Mental Health and Wellbeing

  4 September 2020 Mental health charities call for stronger action on climate change and support for NGO’s in the lead up to Black Summer Bushfire anniversary. MEDIA RELEASE Mental health, disability, homelessness charities and peak bodies have come together to call for stronger action to reduce emissions and greater Government support in a bid to prevent a climate change curve in psychological crisis, post COVID. With the bushfire season rapidly approaching, this weekend September 6 will mark the 12 month anniversary of the beginning of the deadly 2019-2020 bushfires. Multiple CEOs from leading state and national social and mental health care organisations, such as Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA), Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) and LivingWorks Australia warn [...]

Open Letter Covid-19 and Protection of Young People in Prisons

24 August 2020 The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services. Open Letter COVID-19 and Protection of Young People in Prisons. MEDIA RELEASE: LEGAL SECTOR SIGN ON TO OPEN LETTER CALLING FOR URGENT RELEASE OF PEOPLE FROM ADULT AND YOUTH PRISONS AS COVID-19 SPREADS RAPIDLY IN PRISONS As positive COVID cases in prisons and youth detention centres escalate in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, there’s an urgent need for Government action to protect adults and young people in prison. For the third time hundreds of legal sector professionals and organisations have signed an open letter calling for Australian governments to release people from adult and youth prisons. Signatures by over 400 legal experts and justice advocates reflect [...]

Manual of Resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

15 July 2020 Manual of Resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention. The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) is developing the online Manual of Resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention. The Manual will bring together existing and new resources into an integrated toolkit to support Indigenous community members, front-line workers, clinicians and funding organisations in preventing suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Manual will focus is on short, accessible resources that offer practical guidance about the steps people can take in a wide range of circumstances. It will address all aspects of suicide prevention, from building resilience and wellbeing to crisis response, and [...]

Black Lives Matter: Psychologists take a stand against racism

3 July 2020 Black Lives Matter: Psychologists take a stand against racism. The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS) have brought together six of Australia’s peak psychology organisations to take a firm stance against racism in any form. In a position statement released today, psychologists are standing together to call out and combat racism in the profession, the discipline and communities across Australia. APS President Ros Knight said experience of racism in any form can have significant impacts on mental health and wellbeing. “Evidence shows that racism acts as a barrier to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living thriving lives. It has a destructive impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ education, [...]

COVID-19 Mental Health Response

25 June 2020 COVID-19 Mental Health Response. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 working party was convened through the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project at the University of Western Australia, to produce an independent report that addressed the specific mental health and social and emotional wellbeing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. Over 30 Indigenous leaders in mental health and wellbeing contributed to A National COVID-19 Pandemic Issues Paper on Mental Health and Wellbeing For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This Report calls for a coordinated response based on best practice research in Indigenous mental health and wellbeing. Indigenous governance must be prioritised to [...]

Pathways to Justice

Tom Calma 8 June 2020 Pathways to Justice. The Pathways to Justice report published by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) states that although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults make up around 2% of the national population, they constitute 27% of the national prison population. In 2016, around 20 in every 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were incarcerated. Over-representation is both a persistent and growing problem—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates increased 41% between 2006 and 2016, and the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous imprisonment rates over that decade widened. While the statistics concerning the disproportionate incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are alarming, it is important [...]

Black Lives Matter. Aboriginal Lives Matter. Black Deaths in Custody Must Stop.

3 June 2020 Black Lives Matter. Aboriginal Lives Matter. Black Deaths in Custody Must Stop. We are all responsible for shaping the world that our children are born into. The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) at the University of Western Australia stands with those protesting for justice worldwide and are committed to challenging all forms of racism and State violence. We stand in solidarity and great sorrow for the death of George Floyd who was killed by police in Minneapolis on the 25 of May 2020. We also extend our heartfelt sympathy and respect to the family of David Dungay, an Aboriginal man who died while being restrained by five prison [...]

Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Helpline

18 May 2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) leaders call for Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention helpline Responding to the National Cabinet announcement of $48.1m to support a National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing pandemic response plan to be developed and implemented through Indigenous leadership, Indigenous leaders look forward to positive changes. Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention leaders specifically called for an Indigenous phone help line, operated under Indigenous leadership and with Indigenous counsellors and mental health practitioners available 24/7. The time to close the Indigenous helpline gap is now. Indigenous people have long been challenged by mental health [...]

#YouCanTalk Video Campaign

4 December 2019 #YouCanTalk Video Campaign Launching Today Encourages People to Start the Conversation about Suicide The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide (CBPATSISP) has joined forces with other leading mental health and suicide prevention organisations to encourage the general public to talk openly about suicide with their friends and family in a bid to save more lives. Beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, Everymind, headspace, Lifeline, ReachOut, R U OK and CBPATSISP are launching a video for the #YouCanTalk campaign which began in July 2018. Leilani Darwin, #YouCanTalk Ambassador and Head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre at the Black Dog Institute features in the video along with Black Dog Institute Ambassador, [...]