An inquest into the high rate of suicide among Indigenous people in the Kimberley continues.
27 Jun 2017 - 1:00 PM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2017 - 10:52 AM

The second day of an inquest into a spate of suicides among Aboriginal youths in WA's far north will hear how drug taking affects rates of people taking their own lives.

Of the 13 tragic cases between November 2012 and March last year, five were children aged between 10 and 13.

The WA Coroner's Court will hear on Tuesday from Nyungar man Ted Wilkes, associate professor at Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute, who will discuss links between drugs and suicide.

The court has already heard an 18-year-old man displayed behaviour before his death that was indicative of him experiencing psychotic episodes, possibly brought on by his heavy cannabis use.

Inquest into Indigenous suicides in WA's north
New inquest after spate of deaths in remote areas.

The court was also told about a 12-year-old girl who spent the first 11 years of her life at the Oombulgurri Aboriginal Community, which was so dysfunctional it was closed in 2011.

The girl, believed to be a possible victim of sexual abuse, began drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis in the 10 months before her death.

The last time she was seen alive by her parents she was throwing rocks at their house after they refused to give her $50 for what they believed would be cannabis, then ran away.

The WA Coroner's Court will also hear on Tuesday from Judy Atkinson, a Jiman/Bundjalung woman, who will talk about domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Hearings will be held over coming weeks in Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Kununurra, and will include visits to Aboriginal communities.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Multicultural Mental Health Australia 
Local Aboriginal Medical Service