Hearn, S., Wanganeen, G., Sutton, K., & Isaacs, A. N. (2016). The Jekkora group: An aboriginal model of early identification, and support of persons with psychological distress and suicidal ideation in rural communities. Advances in Mental Health, 14(2), 96-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/18387357.2016.1196110

Objective: To describe a community developed Aboriginal model for early identification and referral of people with psychological distress and suicidal ideation.

Method: A description of an Aboriginal mental health service model is presented, as established at the Njernda Aboriginal Corporation, Echuca, Victoria.

Results: The model is presented under five headings: Setting; Recruitment and appointment of Voluntary Trained Support Persons; Identifying persons at risk; Follow-up and referral by Voluntary Trained Support Persons; Expansion and Sustainability.

Conclusions: The Jekkora group model is in its early stages of implementation and no evaluation data are available on its outcomes. However, the model has potential to enable early identification, treatment and follow-up support for Aboriginal people in distress that is undisclosed. Factors that support its acceptability in the community are that the model was developed by Aboriginal people for their community. The network of voluntary trained and untrained support persons might help strengthen bonds and build resilience in the community.

Implications: The principles used in this model can be used to develop models for suicide prevention in other settings.