SPA Director Dr Vanessa Lee co-convener of First Nations Suicide Prevention World Leaders Dialogue

3 April 2017

More than 2,000 people will participate in the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne this week, and one of the key sessions will be a First Nations Suicide Prevention World Leaders Dialogue tomorrow afternoon. As the session’s co-convenors Summer May Finlay and Dr Vanessa Lee have written a piece for Croakey News about the discussions, expected to put a global focus on strengths-based cultural solutions for a major cause of trauma in Indigenous communities globally. Excerpt from the article below:

"Public health leaders from around the world will have the opportunity to listen to and learn from Indigenous leaders with deep expertise in preventing suicide among First Nations people. The First Nations Suicide Prevention World Leadership Dialogue at the World Congress of Public Health will bring together people working in the First Nations suicide prevention space to discuss “best practice”, with a focus on strengths-based cultural solutions.

The aim of the World Leaders Dialogue is to develop a set of recommendations for the organisations that are part of the Congress, which can be used to inform their policies to address suicide rates among First Nations. The event will also enable First Nations peoples to share their knowledges and expertise about what works in preventing suicides, so that solutions can be shared and adapted to local contexts.

As the co-convenors of this landmark event, we are delighted that the panel for the World Leaders Dialogue includes three internationally recognised experts: Professor Pat Dudgeon from the University of Western Australia; Michael Naera, Kia Piki te Ora Project Leader for Te Runanga o Ngāti Pikiao Trust; and Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation (see their bios at the end of this article). The panel will be facilitated by Richard Weston, CEO of the Healing Foundation."

Read the full piece in Croakey News. To stay in touch with news from the conference, follow #WCPH2017 and @wcph2017 on Twitter.