LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – I’m writing to ask for your help. I’m working with a Warlpiri community in the Tanami desert to create an indigenous suicide prevention app.
The app will be called Kurdiji, which means shield in Warlpiri language. We’re launching a crowdfunding campaign with Uncle Jack Charles as its patron on April 4 through GoFundMe and we need your help to get the word out about it.
Kurdiji is a complete psychological method, used by indigenous people for thousands of years, to increase resilience and prevent suicide.
The interventions of western medicine and psychology have failed to impact on suicide rates in Aboriginal communities which can now only be described as an epidemic.
We are losing three Aboriginal people a week to suicide, from a population that is just over half a million. We think it’s time we helped Aboriginal elders trial their own approach to managing this situation.
The community of Lajamanu established a festival to promote the ideas of Kurdiji after a particularly upsetting suicide in their community.
Since 2005 there hasn’t been a single suicide in Lajamanu – testimony to the effectiveness of Kurdiji. The idea is that there are four pillars, which are language, skin name, ceremony, and law, and that by understanding these things a person is given dignity and a known place in community.
Kurdiji stops people feeling isolated or without a purpose. It can help all indigenous people, regardless of their background or whether they are connected to community or not – and it can help white people too.
There’s more at https://www.facebook.com/kurdiji1.0/