Local music charity Support Act has today announced the launch of a dedicated phone line for First Nations music and arts workers.
The free and confidential service is specifically catered for workers "who are concerned about any aspect of their mental health and wellbeing".
“We recognise the importance of First Nations music and arts workers being able to speak with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander clinician or one with cultural awareness training, who has experience with individuals and families, and who understands the challenges First Nations music and arts workers may face,” Support Act First Nations Community Engagement/Social Worker, Cerisa Grant, said.
“Together, the counsellor will create a culturally safe space for First Nations music and arts workers to express feelings of anxiety, depression, substance use, finance issues, and any other worries they may have.
“The indigenous suicide rate was double that of the general population in 2015.
"Indigenous suicide increased from 5% of Australia’s total suicide in 1991 to 50% in 2010, despite First Nations people only making up 3% of the Australian population. This is an alarming rate for First Nations People.
"We hope that more First Nations music and arts workers will seek support in a culturally safe environment and make use of the Dedicated Support Line as a way of processing past injustices and the effects of intergenerational trauma.”
The First Nations Dedicated Support Line can be reached on 1800 861 085. and is available 24/7, 365 days a year.