Commission welcomes new high-level group on Indigenous suicide
17 June 2013
The National Mental Health Commission is delighted to welcome the announcement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (ATSIMHSPAG) today. We are equally delighted to announce that we will also be entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with this significant group.
Being the first ministerial council dedicated to the critical areas of social and emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this signals a new commitment to giving these important issues the ongoing priority they deserve.
From its inception, the Commission has enjoyed a commitment to the issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing, through including a feature chapter on this issue in our Inaugural National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, by calling for mental health and social emotional wellbeing to be included as a Closing the Gap target and through our ongoing commitment to hold at least one of our six meetings a year in an Aboriginal community.
We believe our formal relationship with the Advisory Group will help to inform our work, as well as ensure that these priority issues remain on the national agenda. It will also establish a forum to work together on formulating appropriate responses and recommendations to ensure that all Australians have the same opportunities to lead contributing lives.
Importantly this Advisory Group also provides a meaningful framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, stakeholders and experts in social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention to partner with the Australian Government in the design and implementation of key strategic responses - including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, the renewed social and emotional wellbeing framework (in development), and the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing components of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
Further details of the Memorandum of Understanding between ATSIMHSPAG and the National Mental Health Commission will be published on the Commission’s website upon signing.
"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."
Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission