First Australians in remote communities will receive additional support through a Coalition Government initiative providing school attendance officers and jobseekers with specialised training in Indigenous mental health first aid.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, recently approved funding of $2.4 million to roll out the training to all Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) school attendance officers.
‘We know early intervention is a key to preventing suicide and self-harm,’ Mr Scullion says.
‘Tragically, there is still a widespread stigma associated with mental health, and this is preventing many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from seeking and accessing early help.
‘The roll out of this tailor-made mental health first aid training in remote communities will help to turn this around and ensure early intervention.’
The rate of suicide for Indigenous Australians is almost twice that of non-Indigenous people. That rate goes up to five times as high for Indigenous young people and hospitalisation rates for intentional self-harm have increased by 48 per cent in recent years.