R U OK? launches suicide awareness campaign targeting Indigenous communities
The suicide prevention charity R U OK? has launched a new campaign targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide.
Called ‘Stronger Together’, the campaign leans on culturally appropriate resources to provide guidance on addressing suicide among Indigenous communities.
In common with non-Indigenous men, Aboriginal and Torres Islander Strait males are nearly three times more likely to take their own lives than Indigenous females.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males have some of the highest suicide rates in the world.
“Nationally, Indigenous people die from suicide at twice the rate of non-Indigenous people. This campaign comes at a critical time.” said Dr Vanessa Lee, who has chaired R U OK?’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.
The Stronger Together campaign centers around four community announcement videos, focusing on personalised stories of people who overcame tough times, and how the support of others got them through.
One of the subjects is former NRL player and welterweight boxer Joe Williams, who survived a suicide attempt in 2012 and went on to share his knowledge and experience with others.
“The only way we get out of those tough times is by sharing and talking and I hope this series helps to spread that message,” he said.
Budget initiatives announced
The government announced an additional $461m investment in a youth mental health and suicide prevention strategy in its 2019 budget.
This included $111 million to Headspace to build an extra 30 centres and $152 million to reduce wait times at existing centres.
$5.2 million over four years was set aside to address suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
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