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Mental Health Foundation welcomes Suicide Prevention Plan

Mental Health Foundation welcomes new Suicide Prevention Action Plan

MEDIA RELEASE


Monday 27 May 2013

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) welcomes the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013-2016.

“We are very pleased to see a greater focus on involving whanau, families, and communities,” says MHF Chief Executive Judi Clements. “Supporting them in ways that enable them to make a difference will be critical to the success of this action plan.”

The MHF also welcomes the allocation of $8 million funding for Maori and Pasifika communities to develop their own solutions to suicide. While suicide rates have decreased for the overall population since the 1990s, rates for Maori have not decreased. Maori suicide rates are about one and a half times higher than for non-Maori, and there is concern that young Pasifika people are also at higher risk of suicide.

Some of the risk and protective factors associated with suicide differ across cultures, and so suicide prevention is more effective when it takes into account cultural values and different communities' needs.

Witi Ashby, SPINZ Maori Development Manager, says that this is an opportunity for Maori to promote leadership on suicide prevention across iwi and hapu.

"We can increase resilience by building leadership around Maori suicide prevention," he says.

The MHF was encouraged by the inclusion of pilot initiative using social media to support friends and communities after a suicide death.

“We should be excited that our youth are using social media so frequently,” says Mr Ashby, “because we can connect with them, share support, and develop a better understand of how they are talking about suicide.

The inclusion of a trial initiative to support communities who have faced a loss of a major employer or industry is a valuable new development.

“We know that this has been an issue in several parts of the country,” says Ms Clements.

ENDS

The Mental Health Foundation would like to remind media of the importance of including helplines when reporting on this or any other suicide-related story. Research tells us that there is a strong link between the ways in which media presents suicide and increases in actual suicidal behaviour (including suicide deaths, attempts, and thoughts about suicide).

Where can I get support and help from?

Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

· Depression Helpline (8 am to 12 midnight) – 0800 111 757

· Healthline – 0800 611 116

· Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays) – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)

· Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

· Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / 04 472 3676 (for callers from all other regions)

· Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else; 12 noon to 12 midnight) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

· Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand – www.spinz.org.nz

· Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

· What’s Up (for 5–18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) – 0800 942 8787

· www.depression.org.nz

· www.thelowdown.co.nz – visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

ends

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