A shield against suicide



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/


Judith Crispin





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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Posted April 4, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I must ask.
    This lady wants financial aid to set up some app. It involves a long-term strategy that Indigenous people have been using for thousands of years.
    Given that claim, why hasn’t it been working for the last, what, hundred years?
    There are NO quick fixes to suicide and people do copy when it sadly takes place. Why is it that people think they can stop something with an app? It goes way deeper than that. The entire human race must change and stop the way they behave today and for more than thousands of years.
    Man’s first reaction to anything negative is to fight, oppose, take and dominate.
    Just like the first man was. It’s Neanderthal thinking to expect a change from an app.
    How on earth are kids going to even see an app? Why do people think everyone has access to the internet and sit there staring at it all day? They don’t.
    Dismissing medicine is a pointer to the thinking here. I’ve been suicidal many times and for very long periods. But I am still here, without any apps.

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  2. Advice
    Posted April 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Contact the NT Government. There is funding available for innovation.

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