Want action for our communities, not more research.
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Suicide does not discriminate and in the first nine days of 2019, five First Nations children lost their lives... "the nation should weep" that children, yes children, are taking their lives...
We the undersigned support the courageous advocacy of Gerry Georgatos, prominent suicide prevention researcher and human rights champion, in calling out the overall inaction and silence on child & youth suicide. We support the call for an end to research and consultations.
Millions of dollars have already been invested into research however suicides in our nation continue to rise at alarming rates.
Every available dollar must be spent on improving lives. Our children deserve better than gut wrenching poverty.
Gerry Georgatos has identified the "crushing poverty" as the cause to the horrific disparate suicide rates.
Grace, a Noongar mother from Perth, describes the feeling of losing her 15 year old daughter to suicide in 2018. 'It's the worst feeling in the world to lose someone so precious, someone so young, and someone who had such a bright future'... 'my daughter was so loved and respected, and it breaks my heart every single day to no longer have her with me - I cry every day'...'we need community programs, we need our kids to be supported and positively engaged with in meaningful opportunities'... 'I'm speaking out because I never want other families, whether black, white or brown, to experience what I have and still am'... 'enough is enough'...
We thank Gerry for standing up and refusing to leave behind our most vulnerable. It's up to all of us to echo a powerful message that all investment must be in genuinely supporting our most vulnerable and not a cent more spent on "studying" the increasing tragedy.
Sandy Davies Chairperson Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) WA and former Deputy Chairperson National Aboriginal Community Control Health Organization (NACCHO) is calling for the Federal and State Governments to cease the level of funding been put into research around Suicide, Youth Suicide and Suicide Prevention with absolutely no outcomes on the ground which in the last 10yrs has amounted to millions of dollars.
“The Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service is calling on all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and other non-government Aboriginal Services around WA to stand up and call for the end to the funding of research and studies and instead insist on all funds available go directly to programs that help our most vulnerable.”
“Gerry Georgatos, the nation’s most prominent and genuine researcher and the national coordinator of a small team of exceptional tireless critical response advocates who are working right at the coal face with suicide affected families and also in suicide prevention in keeping our young and old alive who have attempted or threatened to.”
“Gerry’s call for state, territory and federal money, including primary and secondary health networks funding where it is used for endless research must be immediately redirected to programs on the ground to support families vulnerable to suicide and other acute chronic trauma.”
“We need as Gerry has called for in-home, in-person supports. People need to be supported to be lifted out of poverty, out of depression, out of train wreck lives. We need to fund among other things Outreach responders and professionals like the NICRS, including Aboriginal Mental Health Practitioners into vulnerable homes and communities across the length and width of this State and Country. We need to make Governments listen and act on what needs to be done.”
Dennis Eggington, CEO WA Aboriginal Legal Services, “Aboriginal suicides is an indictment on our nation’s state of affairs. We shouldn’t forget the people who are suffering and who have been affected by suicides – the level of trauma to those remaining need to be addressed. The trauma that follows can trigger other suicides. Support needs to be long term and not just for a couple of weeks.”
“I support the call for no more funding for academic research into this compounding tragedy. We want funding to support the grassroots.”
Creator of the petition, Megan Krakouer, “In my work with loss and grief, I work in death every day and it aches working alongside a disparate proportion of my peoples’ families. Gerry is right to call for an end to funding diverted to the study of Indigenous suicide whether by Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and academics, an end to consultations and trial sites and an end pointless but expensive inquiries and inquests. We need to all come together to back this courageous call and ensure that every cent goes to helping and not studying my peoples’ most vulnerable.”
Mervyn Eades, CEO Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation, “Enough with the research, it’s been done again and again and it’s the same recommendations again and again. There are programs that change lives for the better. Invest in them, expand in them, don’t throw more paper at us with bullet point recommendations. Anyone, and particularly if Aboriginal, who takes a dollar of funding to do more research on what’s killing our people, our children, then shame…”
Noeletta Mackenzie, Darwin based Balunu Foundation CEO, “Lets fund 100 per cent of the time programs such as those of Balunu, where people are there for people.”
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