This is a one-day program early suicide prevention program that is designed to build the skills, knowledge and confidence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-indigenous people to have early yarns with First Nations’ people who are vulnerable and or experiencing a personal crisis. The program is designed to introduce participants to early suicide prevention activities by being able to recognise the effects of colonisation, intergenerational trauma and distress and substance abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the community level.
The program was evaluated by the Australian National University’s Centre for Mental Health Research in July 2019 using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The evaluation included an assessment of acquired knowledge and skills including the capacity for action (willingness) to engage in a yarn to reduce the suicide risk of a person, knowing when a yarn is required, and when to find the right moment to engage in the yarn, help another person express their thoughts and feelings, to adopt a respectful approach, to follow practical steps and take action if needed and, finally, to refer the person for help. They also asked participants how much they learned from the course.