Life Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Bereavement Support Group

The Dr Edward Koch Foundation’s Life Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Bereavement Support Group is a unique and culturally appropriate service based in Far North Queensland. This culturally appropriate service and resources is provided to assist suicide bereaved to move towards healing and creating hope. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics suicide ranked as the third leading cause of death in 2011 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland. Research has demonstrated that a bereavement support group acts both as a suicide prevention and postvention strategy for its participants. The support group facilitators have seen the prevention and postvention facets unfold in the lives of the group participants throughout the project. Some participants have used crafts as a part of their healing within the group. Participant numbers vary. Providing the bereavement support service has involved using previously established partnerships such as with community service agencies, and forming new partnerships with local and regional Indigenous organisations and community radio stations. Although meeting in Cairns at present, persons who have participated in the group have come from many communities in the Far North Queensland region. 

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