Best Practice
Resources

The Manual of Resources (In development)

The Manual is a collection of practical resources and tools that people, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous, can use to make a real difference in promoting positive mental health and social emotional wellbeing, and preventing suicide in our communities.

It responds to a need that many people have expressed: for simple guidance focused on positive actions that can be taken in a crisis or to address an ongoing issue.

There is excellent foundational work that addresses the principles of suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) report sets the standard for good practice in Australia. It draws in turn from ground-breaking Australian and international studies that demonstrate the connection between community empowerment, cultural continuity and the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous people.

The Gayaa Dhuwi Declaration, a statement about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in mental health, was adapted from the international Wharerata Declaration and is now at the centre of Australia’s policy response to Indigenous people’s higher rates of psychological distress and suicide – including through the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

These principles are critically important, and the Manual translates them into accessible guidance that can be used in all sorts of situations: by someone concerned about a family member, a social worker whose client is talking of self-harming, or a Primary Health Network that needs to fund culturally safe services in a community.

We hope that one day the history, philosophy and principles of Indigenous suicide prevention is part of accepted good practice towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, ensuring that governance, co-design and self-determination are valued part of relationships. Until then, many people – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – urgently need actions and approaches with potential to save lives right now.

The Manual is organised in three sections:

  • For individuals, families, Elders and community members
  • For clinicians and other front-line workers, both Indigenous and mainstream
  • For Primary Health Networks and other service and commissioning organisations.

Each section includes downloadable resources, checklists, online decision tools and best practice case studies that support users to respond positively and proportionately in whatever situation they face.

The Manual is designed to be used as flexibly as possible. It is optimised for use on mobile phones, as this is what many people use in their lives and work in communities. It also includes lots of downloadable resources, recognising that some communities lack mobile phone reception and people may wish to print or store key documents for later use.

These materials have been carefully selected in partnership with Indigenous communities to cover an extensive range of circumstances for many different audiences. Everything that has been included (with a handful of exceptions, clearly labelled) was originally co-designed and developed with Indigenous people for Indigenous people. The resources have all been reviewed for currency and relevance by Indigenous experts and supporters.

Resource Directory

The CBPATSISP Resource Directory contains a broad range of resources developed and/or adapted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. All the resources have been assessed and deemed as culturally appropriate by our researchers. Click on each heading to find appropriate resources for your organisation or community.

The headspace Clinical Toolkit provides you with the information needed to recognise and treat common mental health issues in young people. It is organised into different Tools, each one containing information around one main topic.

Motivational care planning – Self management in Indigenous mental health Nagel T. (2006) This article discusses the development of self management skills
in mental health, with particular reference to the use of brief interventions in remote indigenous communities, and highlights qualitative findings of a recent study which sought to integrate these interventions into a practical approach to treatment.

  • eheadspace.org.au
    • eheadspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time, eheadspace can help.
  • Beyond Blue
  • Kids Helpline
  • Lifeline
  • Suicide Call Back Service
    • Is a nationwide service providing 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people affected by suicide.

Language and Culture – Working Together Session

In May 2019 Empowered Communities brought together Aboriginal organisations and leaders from across the East Kimberley to talk about Language and
Culture. Together we;

• Shared stories and experiences to build a shared understanding of what Language and Culture means.
• Explored our hopes and aspirations for Language and Culture.
• Named what success would look like when Language and Culture are strong.
• Began to plan how we can track and measure progress.

Click here for the Powerpoint presentation or visit the Binarri-binyja yarrawoo website.  The backbone organisation for the Empowered Communities reform agenda in the East Kimberley.

The Working Together book was written by recognised experts, practitioners and researchers in a range of disciplines within the mental health field and have presented a variety of perspectives related to the causes and possible solutions to many of the social and emotional and mental health issues experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dudgeon, P., Milroy, H., & Walker, R. (2014). Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice (2nd edition). Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

  • Alive and Kicking Goals!
    • This project (based in Broome) is a suicide prevention peer education project which takes an innovative approach to tackle the inadequate provision of mental health services to youth at risk in the Kimberley. It is a positively-framed project which aims to prevent self-harm and suicidal behaviours by enhancing protective factors.
  • Be Deadly Online
    • Is a series of resources including animation, poster and video campaigns for communities and schools created with input from Aboriginal communities across Australia. (Qld, Vic & WA)
  • Beyond Blue – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • A range of research, information, education and support strategies developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.
  • #Chatsafe – A Young Person’s Guide for Communicating Safely Online About Suicide
    • The #chatsafe guidelines have been developed in partnership with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviours.
  • Headspace: Yarn Safe
    •  A website with information that may help you or somebody else, if you are going through a hard time. There’s no shame in talking it out.
  • Headspace: Diversity in the work place is a beautiful thing – Nathan Bramston
    • Nathan shares his story and video of working at Headspace helping to build cultural capacity.
  • Head to Health –
    • A website with resources for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • ibobbly-app
    • iBobbly is the world’s first suicide prevention app designed for young Indigenous Australians that delivers therapy in a culturally relevant way.
  • Keeping Strong
    • A flyer about the ways to keep strong and find help and healing.
  • Lifeline Toolkit
    • A self-help resource to help people living with mental illness.
  • Lighting the Dark – Preventing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide video
    • A video produced by the Queensland and Aboriginal and Islander Health Council featuring NRL players.
  • RUOK?
    • The RUOK? ‘Stronger Together’ kit is a free resource containing videos, posters and a conversation guide.
  • Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation
    • Waltja is a community based organisation that works with families from Central Desert indigenous communities to address major issues affecting their communities.
  • Wesley Mission 
    • At Wesley Mission, we believe that every life matters. Through our suicide prevention programs, we aim to help those at risk of suicide find the assistance they need. We are a trusted leader in this field, having established Lifeline and suicide prevention program, Wesley LifeForce.
  • #YouCanTalk 
    • #YouCanTalk is a national suicide prevention campaign, led by some of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention organisations, which aims to empower and increase confidence when it comes to talking about suicide.
  • Beyond Blue – Finding Our Way Back – Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples after a suicide attempt
    • This resource provides practical information for you, your family and friends about what to do and what to expect if someone has attempted suicide.
  • Healing Our Way After a Suicide Brochure
    • This brochure was developed as a joint initiative of health organisations in Yarrabah, Qld.
  • Mindframe – for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health sector
    • The suicide prevention and mental health sector play an important role in safely communicating about suicide and mental ill-health to the Australian public.
  • Postvention Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and helping people bereaved by suicide – those who are left behind after a suicide takes place. They provide information & support packs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are bereaved by suicide or other sudden death. These packs have been produced by Urbis Keys Young in consultation with community and government stakeholders in each State and Territory, containing information on the process of loss and grief, how to talk to young people about suicide or sudden death, and services and resources available to people grieving.  The information booklets have a section on Grieving the Aboriginal Way adapted from Westerman, Tracy & Feehann, Ashley, Grieving Aboriginal Way, Indigenous Psychological Services, 2001. Illustrated by Kye McGuire.

The Suicide Prevention and Response resources produced by Be You provide clear, practical and reliable guidance and support to assist schools in suicide prevention and response. Be You is part of Beyond Blue.

It provides strategies for supporting students, staff, families and the broader community. The information can be used to:

  • prepare your school community to be ready should a death by suicide occur
  • guide your school on how to support a young person at risk of suicide
  • guide your response to a death by suicide and the subsequent recovery for the school community.

Schools may have a ‘Be You’ consultant who can assist teachers and families to work through the required actions to prepare for, respond to or recover from issues related to youth suicide.

Be You has produced a series of Fact Sheets to support staff working with Aboriginal and Islander children and young people and their families after a suicide. These include:

Self-care for school staff working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in remote areas

Remembering a young person: Memorials and important events

Grief: How Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people might respond to suicide

Suicide in schools: Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

Suicide contagion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

Suicide response and postvention guidelines for schools

Educational resources for teachers, students and schools

Many wonderful organisations provide quality educational resources that can be used to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. Click here for a collection of websites and resources not only valuable for teachers, students and schools, but also all Australians looking to better understand and celebrate Australia’s First Peoples and rich Indigenous history.

Working with young people – This guide aims to support workers and agencies working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who use alcohol and other drugs.

  • AIMhi Stay Strong app
    • The AIMhi Stay Strong App is an innovative tool that addresses the mental health and wellbeing concerns of First Nations Australians using a cross-cultural approach. It is designed to promote wellbeing by reviewing strengths, worries and the goals or changes people would like to make in their lives.
  • The eMHPrac Resource Guide for Practitioners provides a useful overview of various Australian online and teleweb programs. All listed programs have been developed by credible sources, such as the Australian Government, universities, and national non-government organisations. This includes apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources. It includes A Brief Guide: Digital Mental Health Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • HeadtoHealth
    • If you’re trying to improve your own mental health, or support somebody else with mental health issues, Head to Health provides links to trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources and treatment options. It also features Samthebot who is an online robot designed to answer relevant queries.
  • headspace.org.au – Got a lot going on?
  • Hitnet Community Hubs
    • Hitnet brings information and services to the hardest to reach people in the world.
  • Working for Spirit, Mind and Soul – DVD
  • Indigenous Community Videos – Working for Spirit, Mind and Soul – DVD
  • Kids Helpline
  • ‘Life Giving Music and Dance’ DVD
    • This video was driven by key figures in the communities of Galiwin’ku and Milingimbi, telling the story in Djambarrpuynu of how music, dancing and singing can improve your mental health, showing the significance of music and dance for Yolgnu people as the vital ingredients that provide the identity and resilience necessary for community members to maintain good mental Health. Produced for NT Medicare Local in 2013.
  • PSY [Preventing Suicide in Youth] Facebook Group
    • This group is for peer support and is not a professional counselling service.
  • Proppa Deadly
    • Proppa Deadly is an initiative by Beyond Blue on which includes a number Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sharing their stories and encouraging others to take action to address depression and anxiety. This is achieved via the First Nations community radio at sixteen radio stations in metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Australia.
  • SANE Online Forums
    • SANE offer services to help support all Australians affected by complex mental health issues.
  • Yarn Safe Website
    • Got a lot going on? When we’ve got a lot going on we can feel sad, tired, stressed and angry. Everybody has these feelings when life is tough, but when these feelings go on for a long time it can weaken our body, mind and spirit. If you feel like there is too much happening, clearing your head can help. Below is some information that may help you or somebody else, when going through a hard time. There’s no shame in talking it out.
      headspace is your space to yarn safe.
  • Young Proud and Strong
    • The Young, Strong and Proud project works with young people in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland with the aim of developing a series of communication resources aimed at alcohol use, tobacco use, and inhalant use reduction.

SEWB Explainer Vimeo 

An educational resource develop by Yamatji-Nyoongar man Kevin Taylor to explain what is Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) for Aboriginal peoples and what can impact a person’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing.

There are many sources of information and statistics about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and social issues.

Aboriginal Interpreting Western Australia – the only Indigenous language interpreting service in Western Australia.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – An overview of the Health & Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.

Australian Institute of Family Studies – Reports prepared for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse 2009 -2014.

Black Dog Institute – Clinical Resources – Facts about Suicide in Australia 2018

CRESP: Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention – aims to generate new research to increase the knowledge of effective prevention and treatment in suicide prevention. The Centre has four research streams focusing on improving delivery of interventions, better knowledge of causes and risks, increasing help-seeking, and better prioritising of funds.

Early,Trauma, Grief at Australian National University – Fact Sheet No. 16 – Suicide Prevention in Indigenous Communities 2007

Justice Health Unit, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne – The Justice Health Unit seeks to generate world-class evidence regarding the health and health service experiences of justice-involved populations, and to advocate for evidence-informed policy to improve their health outcomes.

Life In Mind Australia – is a resource for suicide prevention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people looking for information about suicide.

Menzies School of Health Research – Menzies School of Health Research is Australia’s only medical research institute whose major focus is improving Indigenous health and wellbeing.

Productivity Commission – Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, Key Indicators 2016

Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services in Aboriginal Australia – This website is designed for those seeking to learn about ways of meeting the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Suicide Prevention Australia – National peak body for the suicide prevention sector. This organisation supports, collaborates and advocates for the meaningful reduction of suicide in Australia.

Yorgum – Aboriginal Corporation offering services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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