The Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck and Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council member Professor Gracelyn Smallwood today announced further funding for community-based suicide prevention initiatives for Indigenous Queenslanders.
- Today is National Close the Gap Day – where we commemorate the launching of the Close the Gap Campaign in April 2007 and keep front-of-mind that equal access to healthcare is a basic human right, and in Australia, we expect it.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10—17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians.
- We know that mental health problems also contribute to the shortening of the lives of Indigenous Australians.
- Many will know that mental health was identified as a priority focus area in the recently released Progress and Priorities Report 2015 by the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee. It reported “an entrenched mental health crisis among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.
- And we know that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mental health and social and emotional wellbeing is inextricably linked to culture and family.
- It follows then that building the capacity and opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in mental health and social and emotional wellbeing is vital to closing what is a substantial mental health gap.
Read the full speech here (PDF, 90kb)