996 deaths by suicide

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Photo – Mila via Flickr

Australia’s Aboriginal peoples have one of the most horrific numbers of suicide in the world. 1.6% of all Australians die by suicide but for Aboriginal the number is at 4.2%. This translates to 1 in 24 Aboriginal peoples dying by suicide. These horrific statistics unparalleled by the rest of Australia, are similar to their disproportionate incarceration rates, homelessness rates, suicide rates, and lower life expectancy.

These high statistics mean that most Aboriginal families are affected by suicide.

Aboriginal peoples around the world endure disproportionate high rates of suicide but Australia’s divide between its national average and its Aboriginal peoples is one of the world’s worst, with Australia’s Aboriginal youth suicide rate the world’s worst.

There were 996 suicide deaths by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people reported across Australia between 2001 to 2010. However even these horrific statistics have failed to gain attention from Australian governments, as there are no correlating funding schemes.

Furthermore, for every suicide there are hundreds of attempted suicides.

As Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian; well known researcher and Kabi Kabi eElder said;  “How many suicides, how many more deaths will it take to open our eyes, and open our ears to the silent screaming that is coming from the hearts, and souls of those who are gone, and of those who grieve and keep screaming ‘Help…’”

Employment, education, health, community and infrastructure are all key elements to reducing both imprisonment and suicide rates, however there are more underlying issues that need to be addressed. The key element being their loss of religion and their connection to the land.

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