IPS has been involved in the development, delivery and evaluation of Aboriginal specific mental health intervention programs since 2002. These programs are unique to IPS and are based upon the significant research evidence base of Adjunct Professor Westerman’s PhD research which determined a different nature to both suicide in Aboriginal communities and mental ill health.
Adjunct Professor Westerman’s research explored whether there was a different nature or aetiology to suicide, depression, trauma, attachment, self-harm to name a few. The motivation to explore this came from her personal experience as well as the constant feedback from her community that mainstream training packages developed from a non-Indigenous world view were not providing information to service providers and communities which were particularly relevant when it came to issues facing Aboriginal families.
IPS has continued to demonstrate the success of their programs across every state of Australia and across multiple language groups in a field which has very few success stories to tell and particularly given that delivery occurs into the most complex and chronically affected communities Australia.
These programs are able to be delivered to THREE distinct groups and therefore target ‘whole communities’. These include:
- Service Providers
- Community Members including parents, elders etc.,
- Youth (aged 13 – 18 years)
Whilst IPS has provided a significant amount of work in the area of suicide prevention, programs have also been successfully delivered across other areas such as trauma and attachment, depression, self-harm, anger management, conflict resolution, Aboriginal parenting, family violence and so forth.
Tiwi Islands Suicide Intervention Workshop September 2014