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Everyone Needs To Work Together To Reduce The Suicide Rate

Everyone Needs To Work Together To Reduce The Suicide Rate

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is urging all New Zealanders to think seriously about how they can help reduce the suicide rate, chief executive Judi Clements says.

The Ministry of Health today released its statistical report Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2009.

“While there is an overall downward trend in the suicide statistics, there is still a lot of work to do and we all have a role to play,” Ms Clements says.

“Although Government action is essential, we can all get involved. We encourage New Zealanders to really think about how we can make a difference. It is about strengthening the connections we have with family, whanau, friends and the community. Some of the most effective protective factors are supportive relationships, belief in a positive future and a strong cultural identity,” she says.

“The statistics tell us there needs to be greater attention to meeting the needs of Maori men and rangatahi in particular. The Mental Health Foundation recently established a new position for a Maori resource development officer who is working to design suicide prevention information relevant to Maori communities.

The MHF provides a suicide prevention information service (SPINZ) which has good quality resources and information available to support suicide prevention activities. These cover risk factors, warning signs, common myths about suicide, understanding suicide across cultures, how to help someone at risk, what to do in a crisis, and how to look after yourself.

“We also have strong, positive partnerships with other organisations working together under the Government’s New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy 2006-2016 and New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2008-2012.”

The MHF’s mental health promotions team and the Like Minds, Like Mine network are also significantly involved in working with communities to reduce stigma and develop positive mental health and wellbeing, which is an important part of suicide prevention.

“If we all make a determined effort, we can make a big impact on the suicide statistics,” Ms Clements says.

Additional Information

SPINZ resources available from the Mental Health Foundation include:

• Responding to people at risk of suicide – how can you and your organisation help? This booklet is intended to provide organisations and individuals with easily accessible information concerning appropriate responses to managing suicide and self harm. It will be useful for organisations and individuals who do not have a primary role in supporting people at risk of suicide, but may have contact with people at risk of suicide as part of their core business.

• Information on Suicide Prevention – a series of videos presented by Judy Bailey on a range of topics including warning signs, risk factors, suicide bereavement, caring for someone who is suicidal, suicide in communities and suicide myths.


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