Building bridges: learning from the experts: building bridges to implement successful life promotion and suicide prevention expertise across Aboriginal communities

Project report


Ward, Raelene. 2009. Building bridges: learning from the experts: building bridges to implement successful life promotion and suicide prevention expertise across Aboriginal communities. Cairns, Australia. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
Title

Building bridges: learning from the experts: building bridges to implement successful life promotion and suicide prevention expertise across Aboriginal communities

Report TypeProject report
Authors
AuthorWard, Raelene
EditorsWard, Raelene
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Page Range1-36
Number of Pages36
Year2009
PublisherAustralian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Place of PublicationCairns, Australia
Web Address (URL)http://www.crrmhq.com.au/pdfs/CRRMHQ%20NSPS%20Report%20for%20web.pdf
Abstract

The Building Bridges: Learning from the Experts report describes the implementation and findings of a community based suicide prevention initiative. The project aimed to use the experience and knowledge of the Yarrabah community as a model for other Indigenous communities for the establishment of effective and sustainable community-based approaches to building resilience, reducing suicide risk exposure and reducing self-harm. Several empowerment strategies had been developed in Yarrabah following a cluster of suicides in the 1990s (the Yaba Bimbie Men's Group, the Family Well Being Empowerment program and the Life Promotion Officer). Under the Building Bridges Project these strategies were employed within the communities of Hope Vale, Kowanyama and Dalby. Sharing of knowledge through formal events and informal communication provided a means by which the knowledge, skills and experience of each community was strengthened.
In order to enhance the understanding that informed these actions, an accompanying series of in depth interviews were undertaken which canvassed community members' perspectives and views about suicide. An Innovative IT/multimedia program, which was also grounded in community empowerment processes, complemented and provided a record of community experience which helped to inform community understandings of suicide and recovery.
In addition to documenting the implementation of this project, it also discusses the various challenges encountered which have valuable implications for future Indigenous community based suicide prevention programs that use an empowerment approach.

Keywordssuicide prevention; aboriginal men; indigenous health workers; self-harm; community empowerment
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020450499. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing not elsewhere classified
420603. Health promotion
420313. Mental health services
Public Notes

Raelene Ward received the Suicide Prevention Australia 2009 Life Award for her work on this project.
Also called : Learning from the experts: Building bridges to implement successful life promotion and suicide prevention expertise across Aboriginal communities

Byline AffiliationsCentre for Rural and Remote Area Health
Book TitleBuilding Bridges
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