People across the Northern Territory now have increased access to suicide prevention services following a Suicide Prevention Program request for tender.
The rate of suicide in the Northern Territory is the highest in Australia. In response to identified gaps and opportunities within the suicide prevention service sector, Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN) has commissioned the following services as part of its Suicide Prevention program.
Mission Australia, Wesley Mission and MATES in Construction have each received funding to deliver suicide prevention activities.
Mission Australia has been commissioned to deliver suicide prevention services to Katherine and the surrounding communities of Mataranka, Binjari, Lajamanu and Jilkminggan. The Support Facilitator will work with communities to deliver combinations of gatekeeper training, peer-to-peer mentoring, community education and empowerment activities. The Support Facilitator will play a facilitative role connecting individuals with existing support services and will organise suicide prevention training opportunities to upskill community members.
Wesley Mission has been commissioned to implement their Wesley LifeForce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Program. The Wesley LifeForce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Program involves the delivery of two Train the Trainer programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community mental health workers. This will equip 12 key community mental health workers to facilitate ongoing suicide prevention workshops to build local capacity and resilience. The training will be held in both Darwin and Alice Springs, with community mental health workers from surrounding communities supported to attend.
MATES in Construction has been commissioned to deliver the MATES program across the Northern Territory. The MATES Program specialises in workplace focused suicide prevention and mental health promotion in the construction, mining and energy industries. Worksite peer networks supported by a Field Officer/Case Manager will increase awareness, reduce stigma and create pathways to help connect workers at risk with the best available services. The program is supported by a 24/7 support line (1300 642 111) for participating industries.
NT PHN Chief Executive Officer, Nicki Herriot, said, “I am pleased that NT PHN can extend service capacity for suicide prevention across the Territory and look forward to seeing the positive impact that the roll-out of these initiatives by Mission Australia, Wesley Mission and MATES in Construction will have.”
The newly commissioned services are in addition to suicide prevention services already commissioned by NT PHN Territory-wide. These services include:
- Mental Health Association of Central Australia who deliver Suicide Story. Suicide Story is a suicide prevention program developed specifically with and for remote Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory. The program is a three-day skills-based workshop, grounded in the practices of ‘both-ways' learning and comprised of story-telling, group work, short films and animation that depicts the eight different topics Suicide Story explore. Suicide Story creates a safe space for all community members to share knowledge and learning about culturally appropriate ways to address suicide awareness/prevention and create more resilient, suicide-safer communities.
- CatholicCare NT who deliver their Taking Action to Tackle Suicide (TATS) Program in the Tiwi Islands and Barkly region, with the aim to enhance community capacity to respond to issues relating to suicide. In the Barkly region, the TATS program will recruit a Mental Health Practitioner to work closely with individuals and the families of people who have attempted suicide, or who are at high risk.
- Menzies School of Health Research who deliver their Trakz pilot program in Darwin and Wadeye. The aim of the Trakz pilot program is to work with Darwin, or NT-based organisations who are interested in trialing a teasing and bullying resource designed for remote Aboriginal youth. Menzies will train youth workers in the content and delivery of Trakz and provide the organisation with the Trakz resource and training manual. At the completion of the pilot program, Trakz resources will be disseminated to NT organisations. Selected Trakz stories will be converted to an App story book format and available across digital platforms.