The Productivity Commission released the Annual Data Compilation Report today to inform reporting on progress under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
A key target in the Agreement was to achieve a sustained reduction in the suicide rate of Indigenous people, with a goal of heading towards zero. The report revealed the suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 27.1 per 100,000 people in 2019, up from 24.9 from the year before. Therefore, the target of a ‘significant and sustained reduction in suicide towards zero’ is not on track to be met.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “The rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to self-determination, justice and autonomy should underpin everything we do in suicide prevention.
“We aren’t going to see a shift in this data or progress with the Closing the Gap agreement until self-determination is recognised as the leading principle of any action to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide.
“The risk factors stemming from dispossession, breakdown of community and loss of autonomy can only be minimised if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples themselves decide how best to address them. We need to work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in progressing whole-of-population and targeted suicide prevention strategies. This means working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at every stage of strategy design, development, implementation and review,” 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.