Helping and supporting others (for non-indigenous helpers)

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If you are non-Indigenous (perhaps a teacher, health worker, or police officer working in a community) it can be daunting knowing how to best go about providing help and support to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is depressed or suicidal, or is dealing with grief and loss.

For many people who are not accustomed to working with Indigenous people it is very important to consider the cultural differences and to be mindful about the assumptions and expectations that we may have about people who are from different cultures to our own.

Working in the field of suicide prevention is stressful for everybody involved. For those who have the task of helping others who are struggling in this situation it's important that you’re properly prepared by having a sufficient level of cultural competence and understanding in working with Indigenous people so that you can effectively help them.

There are a variety of resources on this page to guide workers and helpers supporting and assisting Indigenous people, including young people, who may be suicidal or going through grief and loss. The range of resources includes booklets, videos and links that you may find useful.

Guidelines For Providing Mental Health First Aid To Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People

Key facts – Grief, Loss and Trauma – Social and Emotional Wellbeing Workers Web Resource

Three page fact sheet published by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

© Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet 2013. This product, excluding the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet logo, artwork, and any material owned by a third party or protected by a trademark, has been released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0

Guidelines For Providing Mental Health First Aid To Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People

A selection from a series of publications from Mental Health First Aid Australia and beyondblue;

Cultural Considerations & Communication Techniques

Suicide contagion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

Two page fact sheet published by headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Kids Matter – helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have experienced trauma.

Series of Information sheets for school staff.

What is trauma [PDF, 1.6 MB]
Updated 7 Jun 2017


Suicide prevention in Indigenous communities

Two page fact sheet produced by Living Is For Everyone

Djambatjthi

Short video produced NT to assist people in communities and practitioners who provide help to people with mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts. Video produced in two versions; English and local Yolngu Matha language.