Closing the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Suicide: A Social-Emotional Wellbeing Service Innovation Project
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Objective: The suicide rate for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people is over four times that of their non-Indigenous counterparts, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (under 15) dying by suicide at 12 times the non-Indigenous rate.There is a need for interventions that are culturally validated and community-endorsed. The aim of this article is to describe the design andimplementation of a group-based intervention, as well to report the results of the various qualitative and quantitative measures.Method: Sixty-one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged 11–21 years completed a social–emotional wellbeing (SEWB) programat headspace Inala. Data were available through to 2-month follow-up for 49 participants. The program was designed and delivered in collab-oration with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.Results: There was a statistically signiﬁcant decrease in suicidal ideation experienced by the participants after completing the program. Qual-itative measures indicated that participants experienced improved understanding of holistic health and an increased number of coping skills.Conclusions: Not only was this the ﬁrst evaluated intervention in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to ever report a decrease inindividual suicidality, the program was carefully designed and implemented in consultation with community in a culturally sensitive mannerand thus provides an invaluable framework for future SEWB work.
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Psychology not elsewhere classified