Decolonising Suicide: Critical Suicidology and Cultural Approaches
How can we frame suicide research and prevention differently? This panel brings together suicide experts and advocates to discuss the sociocultural, political, and environmental dimensions of suicide. The speakers will share key learnings from research and advocacy and reflect on how we can draw from Indigenous knowledge and scholarship to rethink our individual and collective responses to this profoundly sociocultural issue.
The session will include Achol Juk’s poetry, written in the context of collaborative research with South Sudanese young people to discuss mental health and suicide in their community.
Jeffrey Ansloos is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Health and Social Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto) and Canada Research Chair in Critical Studies in Indigenous Health and Social Action on Suicide. He is a community health, social policy, community psychology, and Indigenous studies scholar who researches Indigenous health justice and social and environmental dimensions of mental health, suicide, and houselessness. Jeffrey is Nehiyaw (Cree) and English and a member of Fisher River Cree Nation (Ochekwi-Sipi; Treaty 5). He was born and raised in the heart of Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently resides in Tkaronto.
Achol Juk is a South Sudanese poet who explores themes of identity crises, mental health, conflict and wars. She moved to Australia in 2005. Achol has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Law at Macquarie University. She has shared her poetry at various events, including BARC’s The Big Connect – Communities, Culture and Mental Wellbeing in Naarm in September 2022. You can read her poetry here
Jennifer White is a Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care (University of Victoria). Through critically informed, relational approaches to inquiry, she seeks to explore alternatives to the standardised, expert-driven, one-size-fits-all, risk factor-based approach to youth suicide prevention. Jennifer is currently leading a project called Wise Practices for Life Promotion, funded by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada to curate a series of wise practices for promoting life based on what is already working and/or showing promise in First Nations communities across the country. She is the lead editor of Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century (2016, UBC Press).
Marianne Wobcke (BARC) is a nurse, midwife and award-winning artist, born on Turrbal land with maternal connections to Girrimay mob from North Queensland. Her program of culturally connected birthing practices and trauma recovery is grounded in radical creativity, aiming to break the cycles of trauma that are the inheritance of colonial violence in Indigenous communities. Marianne is the 2021 recipient of the Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development.
Caroline Lenette is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Deputy Director of BARC. She uses arts-based methods to explore the lived experiences of co-researchers from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Caroline explores the ethics of participatory research approaches, especially in creative collaborations.
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