Prime Minister Scott Morrison has delivered the annual Closing the Gap statement to Parliament, announcing a $1 billion plan to reduce disadvantage among Indigenous Australians.
There was a strong focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with $160 million for the Healthy Mums and Healthy Bubs program, the Community Child Care Fund, the Connected Beginnings Program and the Early Years Education Program.
Our member Gayaa Dhuwi, the new national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention leadership body welcomes the investment.
Gayaa Dhuwi Patron, Professor Tom Calma AO said, “We welcome the investment in Closing the Gap to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing. Early childhood is particularly important to building strong, resilient, young people, and assists the future Closing the Gap suicide prevention target.”
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “Resilience and self-determination is an important protective factor against suicide risk for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“We know the rate of suicides for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is double the rate of the rest of the Australian population. We need to work across government and the community to close this gap.”
“It’s pleasing to see a commitment around integrating Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention approaches across Commonwealth and state governments. The language in the plan includes strong support for the role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and an acknowledgement of the role of intergenerational trauma,” said Ms Murray.
Read our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Policy Position here: https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-Policy-Position-1.pdf.
Further information: Media release Prime Minister Scott Morrison: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/commonwealths-closing-gap-implementation-plan