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Missed the live webinar? A captioned recording is available to view now.

The captioned recording of the discussion with Marjorie Anderson (National Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crises Services at 13YARN) can be found here


Children and young people who have experienced maltreatment and are known to child protection services are at an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation. In this FACSIAR Lunch and Learn webinar, Dr Divna Haslam and A/Professor Holly Erskine from the Australian Child Maltreatment study (ACMS) shared findings about the relationship between suicide and self-harm and child maltreatment.  Professor Melissa Green from the NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS) discussed prevention of suicide and self-harm for those in contact with child protection services. Kelsey Stalker from the LINKS Trauma Healing Service shared her practice experience on how to respond to and support children and young people in care who are self-harming and expressing suicidal ideation.

Marjorie Anderson, the National Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crises Services at 13YARN was scheduled to speak at this webinar, however, she was unfortunately not able to make it on the day. She did make time after the webinar to speak about 13YARN and answered questions about supporting and preventing Aboriginal children and young people needing crisis care. Please see here for more information about 13YARN.

The webinar was chaired by Dr Jessica Stewart (Executive Director, FACSIAR)

Presentation materials

The impact of child maltreatment on suicide attempts and self-harm: Findings from the Australian Child Maltreatment Study

Dr Divna Haslam - Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology.

A/Professor Holly Erskine - Stream Leader, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Epidemiology and Services, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Adjunct Associate Professor, The University of Queensland

Download slides used in this presentation PDF, 11361.57 KB

Preventing self-harm and suicide in young people using interagency population data

Professor Melissa Green - Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Download slides used in this presentation PDF, 1059.41 KB

Theory in the field: practice guidance for supporting young people experiencing suicidal distress and their carers

Kelsey Stalker – Occupational Therapist, LINKS Trauma Healing Service Newcastle - Psychological and Specialist Services

Download slides used in this presentation PDF, 694.47 KB

Availability of crises and referral services in a culturally safe space

Marjorie Anderson -  National Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crises Services, 13YARN

The captioned recording of the discussion with Marjorie Anderson (National Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crises Services at 13YARN) can be found here

Additional Resources

Research papers from the Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS)

Research papers from the New South Wales Child Development Study (NSW-CDS)

FACSIAR Lunch and Learn

LINKS Trauma Healing Service


  • 13YARN is an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander free counselling support available 24/7

In the 18 months of service to October 2023,  13YARN has taken over 35,500 calls.

Apps, websites and more resources

A number of resources have been developed to support young people experiencing risk of suicide or self-harming. Apps are a particularly accessible and useful resource for young people experiencing isolation and/or stigmatisation – two of the greatest risk factors contributing to suicide and self-harm.

Beyond Now
Convenient and confidential, the Beyond Now app puts the person’s safety plan in their pocket so they can access and edit it at any time. They can also email a copy to trusted friends, family, or their health professional so they can support them when they are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Black Dog Institute
A podcast exploring the context and meanings that surround youth self-harm as well as shared strategies that can assist young people to move safely through adolescence.

Calm Harm
The Calm Harm app provides tasks that help people to resist or manage the urge to self-harm. Users can add their own tasks too. It is completely private and password protected.

Conversations Matter
Conversations Matter have developed a range of resources that outline core principles to support practitioners with conversations about suicide and self-harm with CALD individuals and communities focused on prevention, intervention, and postvention.

Headspace is a national youth mental health foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. Headspace can help young people with mental health, physical health, alcohol and other drug services, and work and study support.

iBobbly is a trial of the world’s first suicide prevention app designed especially for use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on mobile phones or tablet devices.  iBobbly (a name derived from a Kimberley greeting)delivers culturally safe therapy. Based on therapies shown to reduce suicidal thoughts, it draws heavily on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander metaphors, images and stories from local Aboriginal artists and performers. = Once the app is downloaded it does not need ongoing internet access. The app is password protected, maintaining confidentiality if the technology is shared with others.

Lifeline is a 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention service for Australian’s experiencing emotional distress. Lifeline is aimed at empowering Australians to be suicide–safe through connection, compassion and hope.

Safe Havens
Safe Havens (run by peer workers) can support children and young people experiencing suicidal crisis or distress as alternative to ED -  check with your local Safe Haven if they see people under 18 yrs old.

Standby: Support after suicide
StandBy is now recognised as Australia’s leading suicide postvention program dedicated to assisting people and communities bereaved or impacted by suicide. A recent independent evaluation of the program found that StandBy helps to significantly lower the risk of suicidality, mental health concerns, and social isolation following a loss of a loved one.

The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP)
Australia's leading body on Indigenous suicide. The Centre promotes evidence-based suicide prevention practice that empowers individuals, families, communities and culture.

Transcultural Mental Health Centre
The Transcultural Mental Health Centre developed a Family Health Kit with information on suicide prevention, translated into multiple languages. Access the different languages here, and more languages here.

Yarn Safe
Headspace Yarn Safe provides information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who are feeling sad, tired, stressed, and angry, encouraging individuals to talk when they are going through a hard time. Through the Headspace Yarn Safe website, users can access information and support on mental health and wellbeing, stress and pressure, relationships, alcohol and drugs, and Yarn Safe stories.

For DCJ staff:
A new chapter of the Mental health practice kit on working with children and young people at risk of suicide and self-harm is now available on Casework Practice.

The chapter was adapted from the new Guidelines for Risk Assessment and Management of Suicide and Self-Harm developed by DCJs Psychological and Specialist Services. It includes insights from the Child Deaths Annual 2020 Report, which focused on children who died in circumstances of suicide or suspected suicide.

You can also access counselling support through the Employee Assistance Program managed by Converge. Call 1300 687 327 to make an appointment.  For more information, visit Converge EAP.

Looking after yourself
Our work is highly emotive, particularly when working with children at risk of suicide and self-harm. It can be hard to help others if you feel overwhelmed and unsupported. It is important these emotions do not paralyse or hinder your response to young people at risk of significant harm.

If you have any concerns, connect with your manager and see other ways here to get help when responding to suicide and self-harm.

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Last updated: 09 Oct 2023