For Our Sons and Daughters
Despite of the many suicide intervention programs in our communities, Indigenous Youth suicide in this country is still growing at an alarming rate. In 2017, we visited the United States of America and New Zealand where we were privileged to meet extraordinary individuals, Dr Joseph Stone and Associates who dedicated their lives to overcoming mental health issues and addictions as well as suicide prevention through culture in Indigenous communities.
Dr. Joseph B. Stone, PhD, is an Amskapi-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge. Dr. Stone works at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga – a Kaupapa Māori Health Provider; Awhina Whanu Family Services, and the Napier Family Centre all located in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA. He is affiliated with the National Center on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide. Dr. Stone’s publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural and behavioural issues.
It has taken some time, but we have managed to convince Dr Joe Stone to visit Australia and conduct two-day workshops in Indigenous communities to train Indigenous workers, organisations and communities in suicide prevention through culture, drug and alcohol addiction with special emphases on methamphetamine use of youth at risks. Dr Stone have conducted these workshops at Indigenous communities throughout Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Hawaii with great success. So much so that Griffith University in Queensland, in collaboration with Oklahoma State University, invited Dr. Stone to conduct the same topics. Dr Stone stated, “Indigenous communities throughout the world had been impacted in much the same way as Indigenous people across Australia from colonisation.”
With the dispensation of land and the disrespect of First Nation cultures, beliefs, languages and disempowering of people form most of the underlying factors that leads individuals and communities down the path of hopelessness and despair that undoubtedly contributes to the high suicide rate, poor mental health and addictions.
While this two-day workshop is not the answer to these issues, we have found and developed these workshops around the principles of communities developing their own methodology and platform to at least empower individuals to either recognise or intervene where the need may arise. Over 30 years of working in the field, Dr. Stone firmly believes that early detection is perhaps the main platform to at least overcome most of the problem or mental health difficulties in communities. So keep an eye out and be a part of the next workshop near you! Numbers are limited to 30 participants per workshop and cost $450 per person.
Our seminars have been developed among the whole wellness principles for cultures, families and communities. This is a large part of our whole wellness approach in our courses. To enrol or register to attend, please email your expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on (07) 4194 2803.