• The future of Indigenous funding is the subject of intense debate following what many deem the complete failure of the IAS. (File)Source: File
Some of the country's leading healers are putting together a national strategy they hope will see a decrease in the tragic suicide rates plaguing black Australia.
14 Dec 2012 - 6:52 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 10:48 AM

They're promoting community controlled and operated solutions - it's an investment governments around the country are keen to see work.

Jeremy Geia reports.

Reducing suicide and distress in black communities is an arduous task, creating a national policy that has local control and ticks government boxes can be just as challenging.

But that's what the national indigenous mental health advisory group is now working on.

After numerous attempts to put a stop to self harm and stress the solution appears to be local knowledge, empowerment and control.

"The programs for mainstream populations have worked. My knowledge of suicide prevention generally, there has been, and for long time there was a decline in the numbers of youth suicides generally," said Adele Cox from the Indigenous Mental Health Advisory Group.

"That didn't happen in relation to Aboriginal youth suicides. In fact the numbers were increasing and in a lot of areas it was plateauing, wasn't changing."

Ms Cox is part of a program that has enjoyed great success and now it's become a key ingredient in developing a national model.

"The hope is that the community mob who are coming to the forums are in fact the parents, carers, older sisters and brothers. And that through empowering them they then, as simple as taking that message home you know...we think will have an impact or an affect."