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Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing


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I’m a self funded Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention researcher, please assist if you can

World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention fundraiser
Hi, I am a self funded Indigenous LGBQTI Suicide Prevention researcher. I raise money through tee spring to continue my research and endeavour to attract more funding to the Indigenous LGBQTI Suicide Prevention space. Currently, I am the only person looking specifically at this population group. I am a gay Indigenous male and we are losing to many of our mob to suicide. If you can, please buy a t-short from here

This is the design

WSPD14 Front

WSPD14 Back

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Enhancing Indigenous #SuicidePrevention to be more culturally responsive

From Tokenism to Citizenship

Enhancing Indigenous #SuicidePrevention to be more culturally responsive

8) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities -initiated, shared decisions with mainstream organisations. – This happens when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities initiate projects or programs and decision-making is shared between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities and mainstream organisations. These projects empower /authoritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities while at the same time enabling them to access and learn from the reciprocal sharing of experience and expertise of mainstream organisations.

7) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities -initiated and directed – This step is when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities initiate and direct a project or program. Mainstream organisations are involved only in a supportive role.

6) Mainstream organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities –initiated; thinking together, sharing decisions – Occurs when projects or programs are initiated by both mainstream organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities and the decision-making is shared with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities.

5) Consulted and informed – Happens when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People give advice on projects or programs designed and run by mainstream organisations. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males are informed about how their input will be used and the outcomes of the decisions made by mainstream organisations.
4) Assigned but informed – This is where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are assigned a specific role and informed about how and why they are being involved.

3) Tokenism – When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People appear to be given a voice, but in fact have little or no choice about what they do or how they participate.

2) Decoration – Happens when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are used to help or “bolster” a cause/intention in a relatively indirect way, although mainstream organisations do not pretend that the cause/intention is inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male.

1) Manipulation – Happens where non- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People use Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to support causes and pretend that the causes are inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

REF : Ladder_of_Participation_1

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Robin Williams, Henry Rollins, Men and Depression

Henry Rollins has been talking about his depression for 20 years.

By now you’ve probably heard that Robin Williams died by suicide. It’s been reported that he was “deeply” depressed. There has been an outpouring of grief, and rightfully so. But that’s been the narrative. His death. Also his depression, but mainly his death.

By now you’ve also probably heard about Henry Rollins and his jackass response called ‘Fuck Suicide’, in his weekly column for the  LA WEEKLY.  ‘Fuck Suicide‘ is pretty much Rollins being a reactive jackass. He later posted on his site acknowledging his jackass behaviour.

Rollins writes “That I hurt anyone by what I said, and I did hurt many, disgusts me. It was not at all my intent but it most certainly was the result.”

His apology is short and I believe a lesson in Apologies 101. A lot of people should take notes.

But he also touches on depression, his depression. Now you can be forgiven for missing this point because you’ve too busy being angry at him. Or maybe even, WTF, the world has gone PC crazy.

So I’d like to remind you. Henry Rollins talks about his experience with depression. A man. Talking about depression. And no one seems to be listening.

“I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not. I get so mad when I hear that someone has died this way. Not mad at them, mad at whatever got them there and that no one magically appeared to somehow save them”.

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Doesn’t really fit the “man box”. I personally think he’s the one that lit the wick so all other men can do the same. (And I reckon we have)

But the thing is, no ones being paying attention. Why ? Well I reckon it’s because people have become so ingrained into thinking and conditioned believing that “Men don’t talk.” That people don’t know how to listen anymore. Or they just choose not to. Pick one.

Anyways here’s a few stats and on men and depression, suicide and help seeking from a couple of Australian sites, but they’d be pretty universal I’m sure (I’m Australian).

Depression: “Figures suggest at some point in their lives one in five men experience anxiety and one in eight will have depression”.

Suicide: “Men are three times more likely to kill themselves than women and suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged between 15 and 44. In 2011, almost double the number of young men died by suicide compared to fatal car accidents”.

Help seeking: “But men are less likely to get the help they need, with other ABS data showing only 27 per cent of men seek professional help, compared to 40 per cent of women. In many cases men turn to drugs or alcohol instead of getting assistance, this is especially so with men under 25”.

And here is more on help seeking: “Men are still hesitant and have difficulty talking about depression and anxiety at a personal levelin theory or reality”.

The stats on depression and suicide and men speak for themselves, it’s the reportage of men help seeking that I have issues with.

See I believe that men do talk about their mental health and that people don’t know how to listen to men talk.

It was recently passed on too me the teachings of an Aboriginal Elder of the Girramay peoples; “you have to listen to what a person does – not what they say”. That’s pretty sound advice, and that’s how I think you should all have a crack at listening to men. I recently gave some tips on how to do just that. #WatchListenAsk – its at least a starting point. A better one.

By writing this piece what I’m really trying to do is advocate for change. Same conversation about men and help seeking but change the way we frame it.

See, because what I feel is the real link between Robin Williams and Henry Rollins is depression.

“I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind” Rollins wrote that for Details Magazine in 1994. The piece was called “The Iron”.

Details

20 years later, he is still writing about his depression.

“I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not.”

And again in his follow up column ‘More Thoughts on Suicide

“Like a lot of people, I have battled depression all my life. It’s nothing special, in that it’s too common to be considered unique. This state has made me have to do things in a certain way to remain operational.”

If you still believe that men are hesitant and have difficulty talking about depression then try this one for size.

“There have been some truly awful stretches, as I am sure there have been for anyone who deals with depression, that have at times rendered me almost paralytic. Hours pass and I slow-cook on a cold spit.”

Read that bit again.

“There have been some truly awful stretches, as I am sure there have been for anyone who deals with depression, that have at times rendered me almost paralytic. Hours pass and I slow-cook on a cold spit.”

You can’t get much more graphic impression of the pain of depression.

In any of the pieces about Henry Rollins and Robin Williams did you pick up on any that ? Did anyone point to it and say “See men, many many men, even men like Henry Rollins, get depression and talk about it?”

Al Pacino recently spoke about his own depression recently at the Venice Film Festival. “It can last and it’s terrifying…I know that, I’ve had bouts with stuff that comes close to that, but not with that intensity. I feel spared, I feel lucky.”

Al Pacino

So are you paying attention yet?

Fellas if you are reading this, I’m paying attention.

I’m also trying to change the perception that men don’t don’t talk. And stop people from telling us constantly that we don’t.

See I also have had depression and I am sure I’ll have it again. And like any illness I’ve had before, be it a cold or tonsillitis. I’ve kick it to the curb too. I’ve had a cold more times than I can count. Thankfully, with depression, not so much.

The thing is I got well again. You can too. Again and again and again.

There’s a saying that goes, “If you tell someone something long enough, they start to believe it”.

So this conversation that men don’t talk about their mental health has got to stop; it’s dangerous. Let’s talk about how to listen better.

Men are dying.

Killing themselves. Well fuck that.

We have to become reconditioned into thinking that we do talk. And we have to recondition others into thinking the same. But we are going to have to make that first step.

Because, men and the rest of you out there, we are talking, people just haven’t been listening right.

And Henry, that “slow-cook on a cold spit ” feeling, yeah, I hear you. Oh, how I hear you.

Look after yourself mate. Self-care is important. But I don’t think I need to tell you that. You’ve got The Iron, Dameyon.

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**In Australia only – If you need help now: Call Lifeline’s 24hr crisis telephone line on 13 11 14; Access online one-on-one Crisis Support Chat; Call 000 if life is in immediate danger.

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Working in Indigenous suicide prevention, projects need to demonstrate the following via The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy has a holistic and early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.

Projects need to demonstrate:

Community control and empowerment: projects should be grounded in community, owned
by the community, based on community needs and accountable to the community.

Holistic: based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander definitions of health incorporating
spirituality, culture and healing.

Sustainable, strength based and capacity building: projects must be sustainable both in
terms of building community capacity and in terms of not being ‘one off’; they must endure until the community is empowered. For example providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforces and community members with tools for awareness, early identification and for responding to self-harm issues within the community.

Partnerships: projects should work in genuine partnerships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and other providers to support and enhance existing local measures, not duplicate or compete with them. Funding applications need to demonstrate a record of genuine community and stakeholder/provider consultations and a track record of community empowerment.

Safe cultural delivery: projects should be delivered in a safe manner.

Innovation and evaluation: projects need to build on learnings, try new and innovative approaches, share learnings, and improve the evidence base.

Community Promotion and education: projects should share learnings and these should be promoted in other communities.

The Strategy has been informed by extensive community consultation with 14 community meetings held across Australia attended by 446 people, a national expert workshop, and a website that received 48 contributions directly from the community.

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Suicide prevention strategy targets ATSI communities

“Suicide is robbing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of their lives,” Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.

Responding to the launch of the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, Commissioner Gooda said the unnecessary loss is taking a devastating toll on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

“The national strategy announced today will help build strength and resilience within individuals and within our communities.

“We need this strategy because it will provide targeted suicide prevention services that help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities,” Commissioner Good said.

“Addressing suicide in our communities is a critical initiative if we are to achieve health equality and close the life expectancy gap by 2030,” Commissioner Gooda said.

Commissioner Gooda’s predecessor as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Dr Tom Calma AO, chaired the working group that oversaw the development of the national strategy.

Dr Calma also welcomed today’s announcement of $17.8 million over 4 years to fund the national strategy.

“Suicide affects all Australians, but occurs among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at twice the national average.

“We hope today draws a line in the sand in relation to the unacceptably high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide. It is our hope that today heralds the end of that awful and unnecessary burden of loss, pain and suffering for our peoples,” Dr Calma said.


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I’m taking part in the World Suicide Prevention Day Cycle Around the Globe

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September, 2014 Cycle Around the Globe

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Following last year’s pilot cycle activity, IASP is again this year hosting Cycle Around the Globe for World Suicide Prevention Day. This year, it is free to participate; all you need is access to a bicycle.

The challenge is to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe, 40,075 km or 24,900 miles, and to have participants cycling on every continent. Please join us; it does not matter how far you can cycle; every km or mile will help and there are no limits, you can cycle at home, in the gym or outdoors.

This activity is all about the global community spreading awareness of the importance of suicide prevention. This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is Suicide Prevention: One World Connected, and this is an activity that connects us in our purpose.

You may wish to take this opportunity to raise money for your local or national suicide prevention charity or similar organization. A sponsorship form is available below to print off to help you collect donations. If you wish to donate to IASP, all donations would be gratefully received.

Also below is an Official Participant label, which can be printed off and attached to your top whilst you are cycling, and a Certificate, which can be printed and filled in once you have completed your cycle. If you are arranging a group activity you may wish to hand out the labels to your group, at the start and, certificates at the finish.

This is a great opportunity to spread the word of suicide prevention. We have WSPD banners and Light a Candle postcards in many different languages on our website http://www.iasp.info/wspd, which can be printed and handed out, as well as lots more information on World Suicide Prevention Day.

We will, of course, be spreading the word on social media as much as possible. Please let us know how you get on, send in your photos and confirm how far you cycled and we will try to put together a total distance. We would also appreciate your support in promoting the cycle. Please tell others about the activity and encourage them to join in and, if you use social media please feel free to spread the word.

Join us and Cycle for WSPD and show the world that we are all connected in the aim of preventing suicide.

Cycle Around the Globe

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#WatchListenAsk The Problematising of Men in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Watch. Listen. Ask. The Problematising of Men in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention ©Indigenist

I’ve been working in health and human service provision for a while now. The last three years I’ve been working across the North-West of Australia, the Kimberely. I travelled 35,000km in my first 18 months delivering upstream suicide prevention, conversation and consultation and the Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid.

During my career if there is one thing that bugs me is the problematising of men. It has been so ingrained that “men don’t talk”, most people aren’t even listening. Least of all listen with the intent to understand. Most often they are listening with the intent to reply or to “fix”.

Men account for three out of every five deaths by suicide, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for males.

In Australia, for those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, the suicide rate is 2.5 times higher.

In the UK Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50.

If men aren’t accessing your mental health service and they really should be (see stats above) you’re not doing it right.

You’re a hard to reach service. Period.

It was recently passed onto me the teachings of Davey Lawrence an Aboriginal Elder of the Girramay peoples; “you have to listen to what a person does – not what they say”.

I reckon that’s pretty sound advice.

Here’s what I suggest you do.

Watch men. Watch how they are behaving. See their emotions in their behaviours.

Listen to men. Listen to what they are saying, not what you are wanting or expecting to them to say.

Ask men if things are ok. If you’ve gotten to this step there’s a pretty good chance that something is up. In their response whether it is yes or no, watch and listen to what they say. If they’ve said yes, let them guide you on how you can best support them.

Now this isn’t literal. Verbal communication isn’t the only way men communicate. So trust yourself and your instincts. If you’re wrong there is a good chance you’ll be told. If they say no, that nothing is up still trust your instincts. Because if you’ve been watching and listening you’re going to be pretty much on the money. So continue to Watch, Listen and Ask.

The most important thing for anyone is to know you don’t have to through it alone. Men are no different.

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The 3rd Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Roundtable

The Third Conversation: Has Anything Changed?

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Roundtable

Attached is the final Report from our gathering – The Third Conversation on 23rd and 24th June 2014.
The Call to Action from this is both seperate and part of the overall report with the proceedings.

The Third Conversation REPORT
The Third ConversationFinal

Call to ACTION
Call to ActionFinal

On behalf of the Roundtable Team