Woden Community Service (WCS) is honoured and excited to establish a partnership with Thirrili, an Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation that works across Australia delivering suicide postvention support to communities after a death in their community. Together with Thirrili, WCS will be delivering the Culturally Appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Service, recently funded by ACT Health. The service will work with the local indigenous community providing suicide prevention, early intervention, suicide aftercare and postvention support.

WCS partners with Thirrili

Thirrili is humbled and honored to have been awarded a contract with the ACT Government to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT, or with a connection to the
ACT, have access to culturally appropriate support for Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention and Aftercare.

ACT Government will work with Thirrili towards a reduction in the causes, prevalence and impact of suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, their families and communities, with an early intervention focus.

Thirrili has been delivering the Indigenous Suicide Postvention Service since 2017. Thirrili works with honesty and integrity in our relationships and in the spirit of self-determination to strengthen
the resilience and wellbeing of communities. Thirrili supports individuals and families after a loss of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person to suicide or other traumatic incident. We have a network of staff across all jurisdictions including partnerships with local and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander CommunityControlled Organisations.

Thirrili’s key focuses include:

  • Case support for individuals and families impacted by suicide to ensure they get access to appropriate services in culturally safe ways,
  • Building community resilience through restoration plans to prevent future suicides
  • Working at National, State/Territory, Regional and Local levels to strengthen provision of culturally appropriate and responsive suicide postvention supports, and create
    systems change.

Annette Vickery, Thirrili’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We have established a partnership with WCS for this contract. WCS already has a strong reputation in suicide prevention support with their Way Back Support Service, providing aftercare support for people who have experienced a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.”

Jenny Kitchin, WCS Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the partnership, saying, “WCS is proud to work in partnership with Thirrili. We look forward to working together to achieve a culturally appropriate response for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here in the ACT.”

Vickery further stated, “We will engage with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the Traditional Owner groups, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Working Group.” She added, “This funding from ACT Government will enhance the capability of the partners to collaborate and expand their relationships with the ACT service provides and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Organisations, to support communities to co-design and deliver support at the local and regional levels.”

Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said, “In the spirit of self-determination, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander integrated Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention and Aftercare Service, is led by First Nations people for First Nations people. This is a deeply needed service to prevent suicide and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT who are impacted by suicide. Thirrili will work closely with the community to meet their needs and build strength and resilience.”