Geraldton medical service to hire officer to help reduce Aboriginal suicide rates across Mid West

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson
Camera IconMental Health Minister Stephen Dawson Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

A Geraldton medical service is one of nine Aboriginal organisations selected to participate in a new State Government program aimed at reducing Indigenous suicide rates.

Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service has been awarded a contract to hire a community liaison officer who will work with the community to implement a Mid West-specific Aboriginal suicide prevention plan.

Region-specific plans form part of the implementation of the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Framework 2021-2025 and include culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing initiatives designed by and for Aboriginal people.

WA had the highest age-standardised rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia between 2016 and 2019, with the $9.8 million community liaison officer program commitment aiming to bring suicide numbers down to zero.

Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson said the new officers would be “helping communities save lives”.

“It is initiatives such as the appointment of these community liaison officers that will have a real and sustained impact on closing the gap, especially in our regional and remote communities,” he said.

"I would like to congratulate the aboriginal community controlled organisations and other stakeholders working together to provide this new program to their communities. I hope it will help change lives right across the State.”

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