Suicide prevention outcomes driven by the community

Published on Monday, 31 January 2022 at 9:38:38 AM

The GRAMS Suicide Prevention Strategy continues to make headway in 2022 as Community Liaison Officer, Elaine Laraia and Health Promotions Officer, David Batty travelled to Carnarvon to host a meeting on Thursday 20th of January at the (GRAMS) Gascoyne Outreach Service.


This initiative is part of the GRAMS Suicide Prevention Strategy funded by the Mental Health Commission to address suicide rates in Indigenous communities within the Midwest and Murchison-Gascoyne regions.


The strategy relies on engaging with the community to develop community-led solutions and empowering communities to take ownership of the suicide prevention program. 


Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the rates of suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, climbing from 27.1 per 100,000 to 27.9 per 100,000.


Last year, Carnarvon experienced the highest suicides rates in the region, all of them being male. This has sparked the community to want to take action by joining in the GRAMS workshop.


35 participants attended the meeting and several attendees self-nominated to become the governance/reference group to lead the suicide prevention strategies in the community.


Community Liaison Officer, Elaine Laraia said it was fantastic to see the turnout at the community meeting.


“After a difficult year, the community came together to provide support and share ideas to tackle suicide in remote communities,” said Elaine.


“Through collaboration and shared experiences, we believe we can co-design suicide prevention solutions to reduce suicide rates and strengthen mental health,” she added.   


Elaine and Ernie spoke at the suicide prevention meeting at the Gascoyne Outreach Service.


GRAMS also received a visit from Ernie Dingo as part of his tour in northern WA to try to boost Indigenous vaccination rates. 


“Ernie also attended the suicide prevention meeting and spoke to the group about suicide prevention as well as staying COVID safe and the importance of getting vaccinated,” said Elaine.


The program aims to provide a holistic approach to suicide prevention by consulting with community members to examine the factors and engage with local people in the delivery of suicide prevention strategies.


Two recommendations were progressed from the meeting:


  • Hold monthly meetings to maintain momentum – the next meeting is scheduled to be held on the last Thursday 24th February.


  • And to import to Carnarvon the Police Mental Health Program, where the team deal with many mental health issues in Geraldton.



If you would like to learn more about the Suicide Prevention program, please contact us at 9956 6555.


If you or anyone you know needs help:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

Suicide Call Back Service: 130 659 467

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Crisis Care 24/7: 1800 199 007

Midwest Ribbon for Life 0428 381 545

In an emergency: 000

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