Front-Line Worker Perspectives on Indigenous Youth Suicide in Central Australia: Contributors and Prevention Strategies
Kuipers, Willem (Pim)
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ABSTRACT: This paper presents the perspectives of Central Australian workers in relation to Aboriginal youth suicide. Interviews were conducted as part of a project to develop a data collection system and referral pathway for Indigenous youth suicide and suicide attempts. Twenty-two in-depth interviews were conducted with a range of practitioners who have front-line contact in suicide related issues (such as police, primary health, community support, youth services). The interview schedule reflected the project aims, but the transcripts revealed a much broader consideration of the issue. This paper reports on a secondary analysis of the data. The two major themes of salient contributing factors and service prevention strategies provide insights into these workers’ attempts to understand and respond to this issue. There is a need to ensure workers develop and maintain strong networks, are well informed about local socio-cultural factors and skilled to work with local elders, traditional healers and community members, and are well supported in their roles to ensure longevity and relationships. The results contribute to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention sector with particular relevance for remote Australia.