New website to improve evidence base on Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has today released a new website, the Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse.
Established in response to the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, the Clearinghouse is a repository of up-to-date information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention. The Clearinghouse was developed in consultation with experts in Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention, practitioners and policy makers.
‘As Indigenous adults experience higher rates of psychological distress and suicide than other Australians, it is vital to improve the evidence base on Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention. There is a need to employ realist evaluations and narrative synthesis in order to understand the complex relationship between evidence, effectiveness and policy,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr. Fadwa Al-Yaman.
‘The evidence on programs and research through the Clearinghouse will support the development of culturally safe models of service delivery, including the use of cultural healing and trauma-informed care.’
At the core of the Clearinghouse are publications that brings together key research and evidence on topics relevant to Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention. Today’s release includes six publications, covering the themes of evidence, connection to family and kinship, the criminal justice system, the child protection system, nutrition, and the mental health workforce.
The website also contains information across a range of topics, including social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, suicide prevention, culture, country and spirituality, family and community, physical health, housing and homelessness, education and employment, and provision of services.
Today’s launch is supported by the Commonwealth Department of Health, and overseen by the Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse Steering Committee, Chaired by Bardi woman Professor Pat Dudgeon.
‘For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, good mental health is a holistic concept that includes physical, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, for both the individual and their community. Our communities continue to experience high rates of suicide. The Clearinghouse will contribute to an evidence base to ensure information that is current, safe, and relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is accessible,’ said Professor Dudgeon.
The Clearinghouse will initially be updated on a six monthly basis, with quarterly updates to be considered as more content becomes available.
Critical to achieving the objectives of the Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse is advocating the use of the Mindframe guidelines when reporting on statistics on the monitoring of suicide and self-harm.
National Crisis Services:
Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
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