Views being sought on suicide prevention
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
12th April 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today released the draft
suicide prevention strategy for consultation.
"Suicidal behaviour affects a significant number of people every
year, and has substantial impacts on the individual as well as on
their families, friends, and wider community," says Dr Coleman.
"Our suicide rate is too high with approximately 500 deaths a
year. I'm particularly worried about the rates for youth, and
specifically Maori and Pacific young people.
"Although improvements have been made these rates are still too
high and there is always more we can do.
"The release of the draft suicide prevention strategy for
consultation provides an opportunity for individuals and
organisations to give feedback on the priority actions that will
help guide suicide prevention activities.
"The draft strategy acknowledges the need for input and
engagement from right across society. Health services, particularly
mental health services, and Government agencies cannot do this work
"It also builds on the previous strategy with a proposed
stronger focus on opportunities across Government to better manage
integrated responses and share information."
The Ministry of Health has held 23 workshops around the country
with families, providers, clinicians, academics, and other
government agencies which have helped inform development of the
Some of the themes to emerge from preparatory work on how to
prevent suicide included:
- the need for a broad cross-society and cross-government
- further work to reduce the stigma around suicide and mental
- encouraging safe conversations about suicide;
- further increasing the access to support and professional
- and increasing ongoing support for parents and families.
"This work is being supported by the extra $300 million the
Government has invested into mental health and addiction services.
Taking the total health spend in this area to over $1.4 billion for
this financial year," says Dr Coleman.
Consultation on the draft suicide prevention strategy runs from
today until 12 June 2017. The document is available on the Ministry
of Health website, www.health.govt.nz, here.
Media contact: Angela Kenealy
April 13, 2017