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Title: 'I'm going to kill myself if you don't ...': contextual aspects of suicide in Australian Aboriginal communities
Contributor(s): Tighe, Joe (author); McKay, Kathryn  (author); Maple, Myfanwy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1080/17542863.2013.861499
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Abstract: Aboriginal suicidal behaviours in remote Australia present as very different phenomena to suicidal behaviours in mainstream Australian society. Multiple suicide threats and behaviours often appear to express ways of executing violence or retaliation, rather than the immediate wish to die. This may be a response to the lack of choices in the face of an historical context of intergenerational trauma, grief and loss. Aboriginal youth are grasping the possibility of death, and the threat of dying, as a violent means to gain control over their lives. This enactment of agency can give instant 'power' to those violent and vulnerable enough to use it. Using examples of such a suicidal crisis common within these communities, this paper argues that those who work within Australian Aboriginal communities need to better understand the continuing impacts of colonialism and inter-generational trauma and 'decolonisation'. Further, the approach taken in providing services to communities may need to be adapted from the more orthodox approach of linear referral pathways. Understanding the importance of cultural context and place allows for a more dynamic and beneficial therapeutic relationship to be formed. It may also help to more effectively facilitate support for healthcare workers.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 8(1), p. 1-12
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1754-2863
Field of Research (FOR): 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
160804 Rural Sociology
111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes
920413 Social Structure and Health
920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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