National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy

Action area 4: Coordinating approaches to prevention

Page last updated: 2013

A suicide prevention strategy requires coordinated action of Commonwealth and state or territory governments, coordination between different departments—health, schools, justice, child and family services, child protection and housing—and coordination with the community sector to ensure that there is capacity within local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to provide preventive services. Especially where Aboriginal medical services are not available, for example in some rural areas, Medicare Locals and local government councils may be central to support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community initiatives. Coordination between governments is required to reduce duplication and overlap of services and to improve infrastructure and resources. Coordination at regional or local levels involving partnerships between government (including local government), non-government and community-controlled services can provide consistent care and support to families and individuals who have complex or multiple needs.

Outcome 4.1 Multi-sectoral coordination of suicide prevention is established and sustained across levels and sectors of government in jurisdictions, regions and communities

  • Issue: There is a need for alignment and collaboration between national and state/territory suicide prevention strategies with a focus on the coordination of regional suicide prevention strategies. There are opportunities to build the capacity for prevention activity across sectors, such as education, health, child protection and justice at all levels of government. Regional coordination of prevention should have regard for specific regional initiatives, such as the Northern Territory’s Stronger Futures program and other national and state or territory programs.

Outcome 4.2 There is development of governance and infrastructure and capacity for planning to support regional and local coordination of suicide prevention

  • Issue: Current management systems represent barriers to regional coordination. Data on suicide and self-harm is often not readily available to support regional planning and decision making and linkages between service systems at different levels of government in each jurisdiction mean that states, territories and Commonwealth need to reach agreement on how to achieve regional objectives.

Outcome 4.3 There are agreements to support collaborative approaches to joint case management to ensure continuity of services and supports for higher risk clients

  • Issue: Confidentiality of information is perceived to be a barrier to providing continuity of care or care for individuals and families who have complex, multiple needs, or who face transition from one system of care to another. Specific agreements or memoranda of understanding for information sharing, including specific consents by families and individuals to allow for joint case management, should be developed.

Outcome 4.4 Coordinated suicide prevention strategies are supported by improved community sector capacity, based on partnerships between services, agencies and communities

  • Issue: There is a need to support the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to enter into partnerships in suicide prevention. This capacity is not funded, or cannot be sustained, because of the short-term nature of grant funding and the limitation of tender processes.
    OutcomesStrategies
    Outcome 4.1 Multi-sectoral coordination of suicide prevention is established and sustained across levels and sectors of government in jurisdictions, regions and communitiesi. Identify priority areas for horizontal and vertical alignment of suicide prevention activity at Commonwealth and state levels
    ii. Develop a joint action plan across levels and sectors of government for the Strategy
    iii. Develop strategies for alignment between key policy frameworks relating to alcohol, mental health, Closing the Gap, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education
    Outcome 4.2 There is development of governance and infrastructure to and capacity for planning to support regional and local coordination of suicide preventioni. Investigate feasibility of approaches to regional coordination of suicide prevention including, but not limited to, roles of key government agencies and partners
    ii. Identify models for governance to support interagency approaches to coordinated suicide prevention
    iii. Develop data, information and resources to support regional level planning and coordination of strategies
    iv. Examine models for pooling of funds to support coordinated approaches to prevention
    Outcome 4.3 There are agreements to support collaborative approaches to joint case management to ensure continuity of services and supports for higher risk clientsi. Pilot and evaluate specific multidisciplinary approaches to service provision for vulnerable individuals and families
    ii. Investigate feasibility of specific memoranda of understanding to enable joint approaches to case management
    iii. Clarify agency responsibilities for interagency coordination of care for high risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and families
    Outcome 4.4 Coordinated suicide prevention strategies are supported by improved community sector capacity, based on partnerships between services, agencies and communitiesi. Build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to sustain partnerships with governments and other organisations
    ii. Establish partnerships between governments and the community sector to develop and train the prevention workforce across health, education and community services
    iii. Develop options for prevention research partnerships between the community sector, non-government organisations and research and training sectors to build capacity in suicide prevention