PAMS awarded mental health support contract

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
Pilbara Aboriginal Medical Services building in Newman.
Camera IconPilbara Aboriginal Medical Services building in Newman. Credit: Robert Frith/Acorn Photo

A Newman based Aboriginal health provider has been selected as part of a State initiative to bolster region-specific mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Labour has announced contracts for nine Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, including Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service to allow employment of Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers to target mental health needs, specifically suicide rates.

The aim is to provide a region-by-region approach with CLOs working closely with their respective communities.

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service was also awarded a contract.

It comes as part of the national agreement to Close the Gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous people including the reduction in the suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people towards zero.

WA Health Minister Stephen Dawson said the announcement would save lives.

“W know that there is no one-fit solution to improving mental wellbeing,” he said.

“These new regional specific Aboriginal Suicide Prevention plans and the establishment of the CLOs position reflects the guiding principle of nothing for Aboriginal people without Aboriginal people and ensures that Aboriginal people are integral and supported to take ownership of these programs and determine their direction.

“It is initiatives such as the appointment of these CLOs that will have a real and sustained impact on closing the gap, especially in our regional and remote communities.

He said he hoped the initiative would touch those most in need across the State.

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