Reflections from the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum

I was fortunate enough to attend this years Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum held in Albert Park on the traditional lands of the Bunorong People. The conference took place over a course of three days and was made up of deadly speakers, panels, counsellors, community workers, researchers and cultural healers who shared their stories, experiences and journeys of connection, culture, truth telling and healing.

Coming into this experience I didn’t really know what to expect. Suicide is confronting and is such a heavy subject to contemplate, dissect, and discuss. However, I understand that this is a very real issue that individuals, families, and communities are facing and so it was important to me to connect with others, build relationships, learn, listen, and get an understanding and an awareness.

There was so much to take away from this experience, however, I particularly enjoyed our last day and connecting on country. We spent the day outside in the warm sun yarning and laughing. Much of the day was spent talking about self-care and how connecting country and culture was such a vital part of our health and wellbeing. We also had the opportunity to learn some cultural dances which is something I hadn’t really done before and now is something I was to learn and connect with now I am home back in the country.

I was inspired by all the amazing work, initiatives and efforts that came from so many people who were compassionate, dedicated and committed to creating positive experiences and culturally safe spaces for Mob to feel empowered and thrive. It was great to see the many supports and services available and being reassured that there are many ways that you can seek help and lean on others for support.

By Malika Kirby, KYC Office Assistant

If you are going through a tough time there are support services you can connect with:

  • 13YARN on 13 92 76 (24 hours/7 days)
  • Yarning Safe N Strong 1800 959 563
  • First Nations Health and Wellbeing (03) 9070 8181

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