This month concludes with the celebration of National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week, a time to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture and reflect on our shared history. This event invites all Australians to join the reconciliation conversation and explore opportunities to build respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people. In honor of Reconciliation Week, we wanted to take a closer look at digital mental health services developed for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this month.
13YARN is a new service from the Australian Government and Lifeline and we are very pleased to highlight it this month as our featured service. 13YARN is Australia’s first Indigenous-led crisis helpline providing 24/7 free, culturally safe, and dedicated phone support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going through a tough time. Their aim is to achieve a nation free of suicide by tackling the problem head-on with a service developed, led, and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
13YARN is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis support line funded by the Australian Government with the support of Lifeline, and developed in collaboration with Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia. The service was co-designed using Lifeline’s expertise alongside several Aboriginal mental health professionals including NACCHO, Black Dog Institute, Aboriginal Lived Experience team, the Centre for Excellence in Suicide Prevention, and Torres Strait Islander remote, regional, and urban peoples with lived experience.
13YARN offers confidential, anonymous, one-on-one yarning opportunities with Lifeline-trained Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporters for mob in crisis. They provide a culturally safe space for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to speak without judgement about their needs, worries or concerns. The 13YARN team will also work to explore options for ongoing support and ways to connect to another Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who will understand where they are coming from and listen without judgement or shame.
13YARN’s key attributes are:
- The service is designed, led and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across varying demographics including age, family status, urban, rural and remote locations that have high rates of suicide and self-harm.
- 13YARN reflects the cultural and historical factors that have contributed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ understanding and experience of mental wellbeing and suicide.
- The helpline will build capacity and resilience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as creating and enhancing opportunities in communities.
- 13YARN is monitored and led by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee who closely engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led service management team.
Who is 13YARN for?
13YARN is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are in crisis, feeling worried or no good, or know someone in need of support. It is available nationwide regardless of age, family status, or location, for anyone in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in need of support.
Is there a cost to use 13YARN?
13YARN is available across the country and accessible by any phone in Australia at no cost.
How to access 13YARN
13YARN is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By calling 13 92 76 users can connect with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter to yarn about their story, needs, worries or concerns.
More information about 13YARN is available online at https://www.13yarn.org.au/.