The Australian government is expanding a community-based support service and contributing 10 million Australian dollars (7.5 million U.S. dollars) to combat the trend of young indigenous Australians, who are five times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population.

The project was first carried out in Western Australia in 2016. Its success will see the Northern Territory and South Australia take part in 2017 with the rest of the nation to follow in 2018.

“Every suicide is a tragedy and the effects on tight-knit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are often more profound, contributing to a cluster of suicide and self-harm that we see,” Australian Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In the past, the minister has commented on the problems facing the indigenous population, as around 40 percent of aboriginal Australians live below the poverty line, with services and support often difficult to utilize.

“A myriad of support services delivered by different agencies and not-for-profit organisation but with little coordination between them to make sure families are properly supported in the times of great distress, the effect is that people fall between the cracks,” Scullion said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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