Startts, AUBURN, Australia
Suicide and suicide risk is higher amongst people who have experienced trauma. People from refugee backgrounds, and particularly those currently seeking asylum in Australia face additional challenges and stress, placing them at increased risk compared to their Australian born counterparts. Working in often risk adverse contexts, within neoliberal models, in a politically heated landscape, addressing and aiming to prevent suicide in a counselling context can prove challenging. This paper will offer an overview of the current literature surrounding working with suicide risk, demonstrated through a case study of a female asylum seeker which aims to highlight these challenges. Further to this, this paper hopes to offer an alternative clinical approach to working with this population and suicide risk that reframes these behaviours as a function in the context of trauma. It outlines the use of safety planning and risk assessment and the critical importance of collaboration and focusing of client strengths when working to heal, rebuild and recover in the Australian environment.