Lighting the Dark - Indigenous Suicide Prevention

11th April 2014

Lighting the Dark –Indigenous Suicide Prevention

Today marks the launch by Senator Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, of a brand new DVD ‘Lighting the Dark – Preventing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide.’

The DVD is an initiative that sees Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), and Titans 4 Tomorrow, a community division of the Titans football franchise supporting youth throughout QLD and Northern NSW - join forces to develop and shoot a twenty one minute DVD focussing on the prevention of suicide in the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Funded through the Commonwealth Department of Health’s, Mental Health Unit, the DVD tells the stories of a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including current and former Gold Coast Titans players, who have dealt with mental health issues.

Selwyn Button, CEO, QAIHC, has acknowledged that the DVD is an important tool for the Indigenous community.

"Suicide rates amongst Indigenous communities across Queensland remain substantially greater than our non-Indigenous counterparts," Mr Button said.

"The most significant issue affecting Indigenous suicide rates is loss of culture, connection to family and country, and overall lack of identity for young Indigenous people.

"This DVD seeks to support and encourage local community-based conversations about these issues and how they can take local action in addressing their own community’s needs.

"QAIHC will continue working with Titans 4 Tomorrow to identify communities across Queensland where we can use this educational DVD as a resource to commence worthwhile discussions about local community action." Mr Button stated.

Joshua Creamer, Chairman, Titans 4 Tomorrow, has also welcomed the significance of the DVD.

"Whilst Titans 4 Tomorrow uses Rugby League to engage the Indigenous community, the strength of our program is based on a strong focus of improved educational, employment and health outcomes for Indigenous Australians," Mr Creamer said.

Being able to collaborate with QAIHC on the production of this DVD, demonstrates Titans 4 Tomorrow's strong commitment to Closing the Gap.

"Importantly, this includes raising awareness of mental health issues, which we acknowledge is a big challenge for all communities."

Both QAIHC and Titans 4 Tomorrow have strong relationships with Queensland Indigenous communities such as Mornington Island, Doomadgee, and Palm Island communities where mental health remains a key issue.

QAIHC and Titans 4 Tomorrow will continue to work hand in hand with these communities to help improve overall health well being.

This DVD is an important start.

Media Enquiries: Judi Jabour, Campaign Capital, 0412 402 946.

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