First Nations mental health lived experience portal launched to help co-design support services

A world-first portal has been launched which connects First Nations peoples with experience of mental ill health and suicide prevention with organisations and government agencies who want advice on how to develop tools and services in a culturally sensitive way to support this community.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre Portal has been launched by the Black Dog Institute and is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to inform, enable, and deliver better services, care, and programs to improve mental health outcomes and suicide prevention which ultimately save lives.

Members can get best practice information on correct terminology, policies and regular webinars addressing a range of issues to factor in when designing services for this community. 

“There is widespread recognition of the value lived experience holds to inform and improve suicide prevention activities and mental health service delivery,” says Vicki McKenna, Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre at the Black Dog Institute.

“The lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is crucial in creating culturally appropriate and effective mental health and suicide prevention services, programs and resources. Currently in Australia there is a lack of shared understanding in suicide prevention and the broader mental health sector of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience expertise looks like, and how successful consultation with these voices can be achieved. We aim to change this.”

As well as having access to resources members, who will subscribe to the service, can access a chat function to request support with co-designing specific platforms under development.

“This portal provides best practice information to support organisations who want to build their knowledge and skills to elevate and include First Nations people,” Continues Ms McKenna.

“If you want First Nations people to help co-design and offer feedback on your projects, this is the place to come.”

Those interested in finding out more can visit here. – ENDS –


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Natasha McNamara, Corporate Communications Specialist | 0455 100 277 or

July 29, 2022

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Posted by: Renae Kilmister