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Beyond evidence-deficit narratives in Indigenous suicide prevention

Pat Dudgeon, Abigail Bray, Ian Ring and Rob McPhee


Most of the evidence for suicide and suicide-related behaviour in the community is not reported or monitored, so the national and international evidence base for suicide prevention policies and programs is underdeveloped. The way evidence is defined may also exclude some successful interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The development of practice-based evidence complements evidence-based practice as it recognises the complexity of the system in which suicide interventions take place. It also allows the intervention to become embedded in the community organically and has the potential to achieve holistic and long-term positive change. Complex interventions such as suicide prevention initiatives are best evaluated using a realist review and narrative synthesis approach to understand the success or otherwise of such initiatives.