• Submitted By: estrellise
  • Date Submitted: 10/24/2013 3:40 PM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 2679
  • Page: 11
  • Views: 1

The negative effect of European colonisation on Indigenous Australians has been well documented with these historical experiences impacting on individuals, families, communities and culture and contributing to an on-going intergenerational trauma (Dingwall & Cairney, 2010). Psychological trauma continues to pervade in Indigenous peoples in other ways through disadvantages, discrimination, experiences of violence, illness and injury and premature mortality (Parker, 2010a). Consequently, all the above influences can lead to social and psychological maladjustments in Indigenous people. Prior to the European colonisation of Australia, mental illness appeared to be a fairly uncommon phenomenon in the Indigenous populations (Parker, 2010b). At present, mental illness is one of the main contributors to the burden of disease in these populations (Vos, Barker, Begg, Stanley, & Lopez, 2009). One of the mental health issues that have been highlighted in recent years is Indigenous suicidal behaviours.

Over the past three decades from year 1989 to year 2009, suicidal behaviours have been rapidly increasing among Australian Indigenous populations (AIHW, 2011). Indigenous suicide rates have now risen to be double that of their non-Indigenous counterparts, with a disturbingly high rate being documented in young Indigenous males (De Leo, Sveticic, & Milner, 2011). While suicide is not a mental health illness per se, it can be an indicator of the presence of a mental illness. Hence, there is a need to understand this phenomenon as it occurs within the context of the Indigenous community.

Current research on Indigenous suicide has focused on certain key aspects. This paper will examine a few of these areas such as the issues with existing Western models of suicide, the difference in suicide risk factors between the Indigenous community and non-Indigenous groups, and the inadequacy of current suicide prevention programmes for Indigenous people. The implications for mental...

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