GRAMS promoting mental health through suicide prevention workshops in regional Indigenous communities

Published on Friday, 18 September 2020 at 3:41:00 PM

Stage II of the Suicide Prevention trial undertaken by GRAMS and Peter Kenyon from Bank of I.D.E.A.S is in the final stages of a twelve-month contract with WAPHA. The main intent and outcome of the Trial is the development of local Community Safety Action Plans around Suicide Prevention and Mental Well-being. The sites selected for inclusion in the assets mapping exercise are Mt Magnet, Carnarvon and Geraldton which will include the suburbs of Rangeway, Utakarra, Karloo and the town of Mullewa. The assets mapping exercise will identify several major areas that include “What works?”, “What is not working?”, “What needs to be kept?” and “What needs to change?”.

GRAMS has engaged with Bank of I.D.E.A.S to facilitate community engagement processes to ensure optimum contribution to, and ownership by each community in the formulation and implementation of local “Community Safety and Well Being Action Plans” around suicide prevention and mental wellbeing.

GRAMS Suicide Prevention Coordinator Elaine Laraia said that the journey so far has been very successful as engagement and participation at most of the sites so far have been very promising with some great outcomes. Many of the stakeholders have taken time out to meet with our team and share their thoughts and ideas so openly and candidly.

The Suicide Prevention Trial Team have met and connected with the local Men’s Group, the Women’s Group, PCYC and Real Futures in Carnarvon where the groups shared their knowledge of the community, discussed the impacts of suicide, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing in the Community. The Women’s Group at Bidi Bidi in Mt Magnet, the local Shire CEO Kelvin Matthews and Councillors Cecilia Kelly and Eliza have been most supportive, Carole Whitby Chairperson of the Mt Magnet Yamatji Reference Group has been tremendous. The team also met with the local shire of Carnarvon, Mt Magnet, Geraldton and Mullewa in order to share the journey.

Unfortunately, the Yamatji people of the Murchison/Gascoyne region have the highest suicide rate in the world. We have shared time with people who have lived experiences and we thank them for their participation in the process. Your stories are valued. The GRAMS team would like to thank everyone for generously sharing and we value your contribution to your local community plans. What a very enriching exercise it has been.

The next stage of our journey will take us back to the City of Greater Geraldton and two sites have been targeted.  They are the town of Mullewa and the city of Geraldton (including the suburbs of Rangeway, including Karloo and Utakarra). A report will be completed at the conclusion of 2020.

Women’s Group at Bidi Bidi (Mt Magnet) participating in an exercise conducted by Rhys Williams (Mayor of Mandurah)

Carnarvon (Gwoonwardu Mia) Cultural Centre Men’s Group suicide prevention workshop

Carnarvon (Gwoonwardu Mia) Cultural Centre Women’s Group suicide prevention workshop

Carnarvon Real Futures participants at the suicide prevention workshop  

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