Kimberley Roundtable: Suicide Prevention

Department of Health, 14 October 2016
“The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull had committed the Government to this Roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in the Kimberley to understand what is working in the region and what is not and to find some agreement on ways to help shape a new landmark suicide prevention trial in the Kimberley. The Kimberley region has been selected as an initial site for a suicide prevention trial in recognition of the high rate of suicide in the region, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In the Kimberley, the age-adjusted rate of suicide is more than six times the national average.”
Find media release here.

Indigenous-led suicide prevention plan needed to fight Aboriginal death crisis: report

ABC News, 12 October 2016
Author: Natasha Robinson
“A major report has concluded Aboriginal suicides are at record levels in remote Australia, and mainstream prevention programs are failing.The report calls for a radical rethink in Indigenous mental health policy to place Aboriginal people at the centre of care. It calls for the immediate development of an Indigenous-led national prevention plan to stem a rising tide of Aboriginal deaths.”
Find article here.

‘Shocking’ number of Indigenous teenagers rate happiness at zero

The Guardian, 7 September 2016
Author: Calla Wahlquist
“A Mission Australia survey found 10% of young Indigenous men and 5% of young Indigenous women rated their usual mental state as “very sad”, compared with just 1% of non-Indigenous people of the same age. The national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report 2016, released on Thursday, asked 1,162 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander teenagers aged 15 to 19 to rate their general happiness out of 10, where zero was “very sad” and five was “not happy”.”
Find article here.

Indigenous DNA at centre of ethical furore could help reconnect stolen generations

The Guardian, 18 August 2016
Author: Calla Wahlquist
“Historic blood samples collected from Indigenous Australians could connect members of the stolen generations to their families and improve healthcare for chronic diseases, but not without confronting a troubled legacy of scientific exploitation and racial classification.”
Find article here.

Aboriginal patients have different experience of hospital, especially in country

SMH, 10 August 2016
Author: Harriet Alexander
“A report on Aboriginal people’s perceptions of the NSW hospital system showed a gulf between their experiences and those of non-Aboriginal people in several key measures, which were more pronounced in rural hospitals. Aboriginal patients were particularly lukewarm on the quality of their communications with clinical staff, whether they had enough privacy when discussing their treatment and whether appropriate arrangements were made for their discharge.”
Find article here.

Indigenous suicide is a humanitarian crisis. We need a royal commission

The Guardian, 25 July 2016
Author: Dameyon Bonson
“The right of self-determination of all people is a fundamental principle in international law, yet within the prevention of suicide for Indigenous Australians, that has been obstructed. Until now. 5.2% of Indigenous Australian lives are lost to suicide but as yet, there is no Indigenous organisation driving policy to combat this devastating problem.”
Find article here.

Indigenous suicide: Thousands call for royal commission, prevention measures

ABC, 14 July 2016
Author: Leonie Thorne
“Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a royal commission into what researchers say are “catastrophic” levels of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Around 5.2 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths are officially registered as suicides.”
Find article here.

The Age of Genomics

Australian Science, July/August 2016
Author: Ainsley Newson
“This edition of Australasian Science focuses on the ethical, legal and social issues associated with advances in genomic science. Faster and more accurate sequencing of human genomes; smaller and smarter wearable technologies; an increasingly connected world; direct access to health testing; improvements in data storage. These are just some recent innovations now influencing Australian health care and society, and this issue of Australasian Science focuses on their associated social, ethical and legal issues.”
Find editorial here and links to articles on online genetic testing, indigenous genomics, biobanking, stem cell commercialisation, and personal genomics.

Why we need to support Aboriginal women’s choice to give birth on country

The Conversation, 14 June 2016
Authors: Catherine Chamberlain, Rhonda Marriott and Sandy Campbell
“Around 9.6 out of every 1,000 Aboriginal babies are stillborn, or die in childbirth or the first 28 days of life, compared with 8.1 non-Aboriginal babies. Getting maternity care right for Aboriginal women is critical to closing this gap. Not all Aboriginal women have access to high-quality, culturally competent maternity care. The federal government’s 2014 maternity services review recommends improving access to care for Aboriginal mothers and increasing birthing choices. One such option is for Aboriginal women to choose birthing on country.”
Find article here.

We must do more to help people with intellectual impairments stay out of prison

The conversation, 23 May 2016
Author: Frank Brennan
“Laws and policies often perpetrate and deepen the disadvantage and exclusion of vulnerable groups, especially prisoners. People with cognitive impairment in the justice system often come from communities of entrenched disadvantage. A series of research studies commissioned by Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia shows a high proportion of crime comes from a small number of localities. These communities are characterised by entrenched and overlapping disadvantage across a range of indicators. In the latest Dropping off the Edge 2015 report, high rates of disability and mental health issues coincide with high rates of crime and prison admissions.”
Find article here.