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How To Involve Whānau In Māori Suicide Prevention

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 15 February

How To Involve Whānau In Māori Suicide Prevention

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is holding its second of three free Māori Suicide Prevention webinars next Tuesday 19 February.

The first webinar was a great success, with around 750 participants on the day. Otago University Māori health lecturer Keri Lawson-Te Aho presented, and spoke about what needs to happen to prevent Māori suicide.

“We need to engage whānau at every level,” she said. “There is a wealth of untapped potential in our traditional knowledge bases. The restoration of cultural values is essential for the positive health of Māori.”

The second webinar will be presented by Di Grennell, director of Whānau Ora, and Michael Naera, Kia Piki Te Ora Project Leader. Di and Michael will be speaking about how to involve whānau and community in Māori suicide prevention.

“The first webinar showed why involving whānau in Māori suicide prevention strategies is critical,” says MHF Chief Executive Judi Clements. “The next webinar will give practical steps to show how we involve whānau and communities, and keep them involved.”

Time will be allowed for audience questions. Questions can be emailed to sophia@mentalhealth.org.nz or tweeted to @suicidenz, using the hashtag #mspwebinar before, during, or after the webinar.

In New Zealand, Māori are disproportionately affected by suicide. In 2010 (the most recent year for which we have official statistics), the Māori youth suicide rate was more than 2.5 times higher than that of non-Māori youth. The suicide rates across the lifespan were about 1.5 times higher for Māori compared with non-Māori.

While suicide rates in New Zealand decreased for the overall population between 1996 and 2010, Māori suicides did not decrease. Given these statistics, it is important to look at specific approaches to preventing Māori suicide.

The MHF is hosting the webinars in collaboration with the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University of Wellington.

The webinar will run from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on Tuesday 19th February.

Those interested in watching the webinars can register here http://suicidepreventioninformationnewzealand.eventbrite.co.nz/

The third and final webinar in the series – Preventing Māori suicide: improving care and intervention will be broadcast on Tuesday 19 March.

About Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (SPINZ)

Founded in 1999, SPINZ is a non-government, national information service promoting high quality information and resources to promote safe and effective suicide prevention activities.

Part of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, SPINZ is contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide its services, in alignment with the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan.

The SPINZ website (www.spinz.org.nz) has a wealth of resources available to people who are in crisis, as well as those who wish to learn about suicide prevention, or how to respond when someone they know is at risk.

ENDS

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