Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the funding would enable 12 community organisations to deliver culturally appropriate suicide prevention activities.
“In Aboriginal communities, there is a growing body of evidence around the healing power of culture when it comes to mental health issues and suicide prevention,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This funding will support community-led and culturally appropriate initiatives to tackle these important issues.
“These new programs will involve Elders and focus on building identity and connection, as well as helping Aboriginal people access mental health services.”
The funding has been allocated to 12 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) which can use the funds flexibly for a combination of grassroots community activities and clinical services.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians living in NSW, compared to 17th for non-Indigenous Australians.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin praised the initiative and echoed the importance of targeted efforts to address the issue within Aboriginal communities.
“Too many Aboriginal families in NSW are sadly impacted by suicide,” Mr Harwin said.
“I’m heartened that as part of the NSW Government’s Towards Zero Suicides strategy, this important investment will enable Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to deliver services to support the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of our Aboriginal people and communities across the State.”
Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Services in Campbelltown is one of the ACCHOs to receive funding and CEO Darryl Wright said he wants to see the next generation flourish.
“This funding will go towards reducing the intergenerational grief and trauma that still impacts our youth today. For every family that we can help heal and nourish, our community will grow stronger and our futures glow brighter," Mr Wright said.
Building on Resilience in Aboriginal Communities is part of Towards Zero Suicides, a NSW Premier’s Priority and NSW Government investment of $87 million over three years in new and exisiting suicide prevention initiatives.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:
• Lifeline 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
• NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511