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Suicide Mortality Review Report Underlines an Urgent Need

Suicide Mortality Review Report Underlines an Urgent Need to Better Invest In and Co-ordinate Suicide Prevention

The findings of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s Report make for sobering but unsurprising reading. Lifeline Aotearoa knows suicide is a significant public health issue in New Zealand because of the sheer volume of calls it receives each day from people in crisis.

“We lose over 10 New Zealander’s a week to suicide, and many more present to A&E after a suicide attempt. Each death is preventable and the Report is clear that much more can be done to prevent such high numbers,” says Jo Denvir, CEO of Lifeline Aotearoa.

“The Report shows that many New Zealanders who suicide have been in contact with agencies such as the Police and Corrections either at the time of their deaths or in the years leading up to their deaths. The Report goes on to say that these points of contact could have been an opportunity to prevent suicidal activities”.

“Lifeline Aotearoa has been offering its services to agencies such as the Police and A&E departments for several years. Our staff are trained to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour and help whanau assess risk factors and provide support going forward. Unfortunately, the issue always comes back to a lack of funding.

Ms Denvir believes that it is simply a false economy to site funding restraints as the reason to not include services such as Lifeline across various health, justice and social sector services.

“When you consider the difference in the cost of Lifeline providing support services as opposed to front line Police and A&E medical staff responding to suicidal behaviour then Lifeline becomes a very attractive proposition. The issue is actually about a lack of political will to fund agencies such as Lifeline – a decision that will come at an enormous social and economic cost,” said Ms Denvir.


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