Indigenous Youth Life Skills Development

This project aims to develop and pilot a life skills training program for Indigenous youth in remote settings and determine the effectiveness of the proposed approach to community engagement and implementation. The Indigenous Youth Life Skills Development program aims to build resilience and social-emotional skills that help young people cope, make positive life choices and avoid self-destructive behaviours. The project will also build local community capacity to continue delivery of the program and establish a framework for evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of further implementation.

Background

The available evidence on Indigenous suicide indicates that prevention efforts need to work across the lifespan of individuals and on the contexts of risk in communities. On the basis of recent research, Menzies has developed a youth suicide prevention framework designed to help Indigenous communities address these issues. The framework guides communities through a process of identifying priorities and needs to make informed decisions about suicide prevention in the following areas: building the evidence base, building strength and resilience in children and families, preventing suicide amongst youth and young adults, postvention, community awareness of suicide and training in suicide prevention.

The early adolescent life skills program is designed to influence the antecedents of risk-taking behaviour in later adolescent years and young adulthood, including suicide. This life skills program will be implemented as part of a larger process of establishing a community-based approach to suicide prevention using a framework designed by Menzies to facilitate evidence-based practices. Based on recent research into child and youth suicide in the NT, Menzies has developed a framework for an integrated approach to community-based suicide prevention across the lifespan. This framework is designed to promote a shared understanding of suicide and its prevention by supporting community ownership and leadership of suicide prevention efforts.

Partners:

Maningrida College

Malabam’s GREATS Youth Services

Contact:

The project team is based at the old JET centre in Maningrida and can be contacted on 0408 900 779.