What's behind high Australian Aboriginal youth suicide rates?

2018-08-14_071814

In one remote community in the country's Kimberley region of northern Western Australia, the Aboriginal suicide rate is estimated to be seven times the national average, attributed in part to disconnection from the land and traditional culture.

The first Aboriginal psychologist to graduate in Australia, Professor Pat Dudgeon from the Bardi people of the Kimberley, explained why suicide rates among young Aborigines are so high and what can be done to stem the tide.

She was interviewed by Al Jazeera, a Qatar government-owned global TV broadcaster which claims to reach “more than 310 million households in more than 100 countries”.

Young Australian Aborigines are four times more likely to commit suicide than non-indigenous Australians and in one remote community in the country's Kimberley region of northern Western Australia, the Aboriginal suicide rate is estimated to be seven times the national average.

Experts and Aboriginal elders believe this can be attributed in part to a feeling of disconnection from the land and traditional culture and that the solution rests in restoring that, rather than solely in combatting drug and alcohol abuse.

Professor Dudgeon is the woman behind Australia's first national suicide prevention strategy that specifically targets Aborigines.

She talked in the interview about the mental state of Australia's indigenous youth and what can be done to battle the suicide rate.

Click here for the transcript of the interview..

More at Aljazeera on Australian Aborigines at
Can Aboriginal ecotourism save communities as companies eye land?

Could Australia soon recognise sovereigns other than the Queen?

Starting from scratch: Aboriginal group reclaims lost language

Australia's Lost Generation: Battling Aboriginal Suicide

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