Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders

Grief and loss associated with suicide death within Indigenous families and communities is complex and complicated because it is usually associated with high levels of trauma and paralysing fear and distress. Yet a suicide death is not just about the fear, trauma and distress, but is a lived experience both physically and existentially within the Indigenous culture. Suicide within an Indigenous cultural context is less about the individual and more about the collective community in which the individual lives and dies. Strengthening families to grieve safely reducing the risk of further loss is one aim of postvention.

Watch Professor Judy Atkinson talk about healing family relationships after suicide in Aboriginal Australia

Further reading

promote-life-ntIndigenous Grief and Loss
Website: Promote Life NT




Indigenous Psychological Services
When someone you love has passed on you will be feeling a lot of different emotions. It is also true that for Aboriginal people, there are some different things that you need to do with your people and community to help you with these feelings. This booklet is to help you to understand these things. It will also explain the difference between normal grieving, and when you need to get some help with your grief.


nt-websiteNT Department of Health website

There are many agencies in the Northern Territory who provide support and counselling to those who have been bereaved by suicide. Listed below are the agencies in the NT who provide support and we encourage you to refer back to counselling for support and information. A comprehensive information and support pack for those bereaved by suicide or by other sudden death is also available on the Living is for Everyone website.



The Galupa Marngarr Suicide Prevention Group of the Gunyangara community of Ski Beach, Nhulunbuy, is a community based committee who have been working to reduce the loss of life of their young people, a very serious suicide rate, since 2009. The committee is associated with, and supported by Wesley LifeForce, a national suicide prevention program. The Yudu Yudu Healing Camp is a project currently under development. It was identified as recommendation 8 & 9 of the Galupa Marngarrs Back to the Roots ? Djalkirir ga rom Yolngu gungayanamirri Conference, held in Nhulunbuy May 2012, and has received some start-up funding from NT Health in 2013.