Meaningful action to address Aboriginal suicide long overdue: Greens

Greens spokesperson for mental health and suicide prevention the Hon Alison Xamon MLC has welcomed the release today of the Government’s preliminary response to the Coroner’s Inquest into Aboriginal youth suicide in the Kimberley and the Message Stick Inquiry.

“I am particularly heartened to see the Government’s recognition of the need: for Aboriginal people and communities to lead this process; to break down silos and to address the intergenerational effects of colonisation,” she said.

“The rate of suicide in Aboriginal communities is an indictment on successive Governments.   We are at crisis point.  It is distressing to consider that it has taken until now for action of this level.  My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones.

“While I commend this Government for finally stepping up, I cannot emphasise enough that in addition to being Aboriginal-led, this process must be backed up with adequate resourcing and bipartisan commitment or it will run the risk of going the same way as the 40 previous reports and 700 recommendations made into Aboriginal suicide over the last twenty years or so.

“All this time and money has clearly been shown to be ineffective at stemming the tide of Aboriginal suicide. Tragically Aboriginal people are three times more likely to die by suicide than non-Aboriginal people.

Ms Xamon said “We must not lose sight of the people at the centre of this crisis.  The Coroner powerfully reminds us of this through documenting the individual accounts of each of these young people’s lives showing the ongoing day to day reality for many children on the ground.