Progress on our Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing

  • First annual progress report on the Government’s Commitment released today
  • McGowan Government is committed to reducing the rate of Aboriginal Youth Suicide and improving wellbeing outcomes for all Aboriginal people
  • $17.6 million budget commitment to Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing part of a significant package to support young Aboriginal people
  • Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson has today released the first annual progress report tracking the Government’s implementation of its Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing (the Commitment).

    The progress report outlines significant actions taken by Government to support the wellbeing of young Aboriginal people since the Commitment was released in March 2020. Actions include:

    • providing $9.8 million for development of regional Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Plans across WA;
    • commencing an overarching Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Strategy; and
    • this year’s State Budget commitment to provide $17.6 million over the next three years for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in five regional areas to deliver Social and Emotional Wellbeing Programs.

    The progress report also highlights the partnership between Government, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and the Aboriginal community, and the commitment to work collaboratively to make changes to improve the lives of young Aboriginal people and their communities.

    It details the outcomes of the Strengthening Partnerships Workshop held in Broome in April this year, including the establishment of the Kimberley Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing Steering Committee. The workshop was facilitated by the Mental Health Commission which identified the need to engage with Aboriginal communities to deliver an appropriate response that was place-based, community-led and supported the development of genuine partnerships.

    The report provides an update on progress made towards the recommendations from the State Coroner’s inquest into the deaths of 13 children and young people in the Kimberley, and Learnings from the Message Stick: the Report of the Inquiry into Aboriginal Youth Suicide in Remote Areas.

    The first annual progress report for the Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing is available on the Mental Health Commission’s website here:

    https://www.mhc.wa.gov.au/Commitment-to-Aboriginal-Youth-Wellbeing-Progress-Report

    As stated by Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson:

    “If we are to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and families in Western Australia, it’s important that Government finds new ways of working. 

    “To achieve this, it is critical for us to draw on, empower and be guided by the knowledge and strength of Aboriginal people and their communities.

    “Our progress on the Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing will complement work towards the renewed National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which outlines suicide prevention targets and aims to enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of young Aboriginal people in WA.

    “It is vital that we work in partnership, across communities and agencies to reduce deaths by suicide. This is not something that any government, organisation or community can do alone. We must do this together.”

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