The prevention officer’s main role is the wrong approach since it is generic in nature and not tied to the problems of the Aboriginal population. Tighe and McKay (2012) assert that suicide prevention programs must address the core issues and not simply treat the symptoms. Bagnall (2011) observes that the approach also fails to consult with the indigenous community in the intervention. An intervention that fails to engage the Aboriginal people will not work.
We will write a custom Article on Suicide Among Aboriginal Population specifically for you
301 certified writers online
History has played a major role in the Indigenous suicide rates. Procter (2005) observes that among Aboriginal Australians, suicide is an expression of pain, disconnection, and despair. The predominant method of suicide for young Aboriginal men is hanging which account for over 50% of deaths (Procter, 2005). This method has some significant historical message of hurt, injustice, tyranny, and domination for Aboriginal (Procter, 2005). Colonization resulted in a loss of identity by the Aboriginal population. Hunter (2002) reveals that some of the incidents of suicide are consequences of histories of injustice and disadvantage, rather than mental health problems.
Considering the socio-economic cause of suicide among the Indigenous population, addressing the economic issues would help alleviate the problem. A culturally appropriate method to address suicide would be one that is wholly owned by the Mount Isa community. Tighe and McKay (2012) observe that ownership will ensure that the program remains fundamentally bound to the experience of the Indigenous population. Procter (2005) advocates community-based interventions since they have a lasting effect on suicide prevention. Bagnall (2011) reinforces such an approach by noting that indigenous-specific services are vital to the success of any intervention.
I agree with T’s estimation that a program managed by the Aboriginal community would be best suited since the workers would have far greater understanding of the needs of Indigenous people, be able to connect with Aboriginal clients.
Bagnall, G. (2011). Suicide Ignorance. The National Indigenous Times Newspaper. Web.
Hunter, E. (2002). ‘Best intentions’ lives on: untoward health outcomes of some contemporary initiatives in Indigenous affairs. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry; 36(1), 575–584.
Procter, N. (2005).Parasuicide, self-harm and suicide in Aboriginal people in rural Australia: A review of the literature with implications for mental health nursing practice. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 11(1), 237–241.
Tighe, J., & McKay, K. (2012). Alive and Kicking Goals!: Preliminary findings from a Kimberley suicide prevention program. Advances in Mental Health, 10(3), 240-245.