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The Youth Suicide Toll Must Come Down

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says he has been overwhelmed by the response to Wednesday night’s “Questions” programme on youth suicide.

“Members of my staff in both my electorate office in Wigram and my Ministerial Office in Parliament dealt with a steady stream of callers on Thursday. Many calls were from family members who had themselves been touched by suicide expressing their concerns at the lack of support networks for them in the community.

“They universally endorsed my call for the Government to identify and evaluate successful support programmes and fund them so that they can be extended to cover the country.

“All of the callers expressed support for the airing of the issue of youth suicide and commented on the sensitive way it was handled by the TV3 drama.”

Jim Anderton says he is very pleased to have been invited to join the Government’s Ministerial Committee on Youth Suicide Prevention.
“As I said on the programme on Wednesday night, I will work hard with the other Ministers (Annette King, Laila Harre and Lianne Dalziel) to evaluate existing youth suicide prevention programmes and co-ordinate their extension so that there is help for at risk kids wherever they may live in New Zealand.

“I will also fight hard to secure funding to set up a nationwide support system for the families of children at risk of suicide or who are dealing with a loss through suicide,” Jim Anderton said.

“Just as ‘The Road Toll Must Come Down’ message has been heard and acted upon by many drivers, I want to make sure the Government hears and takes action on the message that went out on air on Wednesday night - ‘The Youth Suicide Toll Must Come Down’.”

Ends

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