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Leadership of Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy

Media Statement

Youth Affairs takes on leadership of Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy

The Ministry of Youth Affairs will now be responsible for leading and coordinating the New Zealand Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, Youth Affairs Minister Laila Harré announced today.

Youth Affairs jointly led the Strategy's development with the Ministry of Health and Te Puni Kokiri, between 1994 and 1998. The Ministry of Health then became responsible for coordinating its implementation.

Laila Harré said Youth Affairs is experienced in leading issues that cross a number of sectors and is well placed to coordinate the way the government puts the Strategy into action.

The Ministry will receive an extra $214,000 to carry out this work, and will appoint a national coordinator responsible for building momentum around the coordination and implementation of the Strategy.

This person will work closely with non-government organisations, community groups and researchers.

"The change will build on the work done by the Ministry of Health and give the government a chance to build momentum around the provision of youth suicide prevention services," Laila Harré said.

"It also fits in snugly with the development of a Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa, which will act as a blueprint for the implementation of strategies that support the positive development of young men and women," Laila Harré said.

"The transfer of leadership by no means lessens the responsibilities that all government agencies have in supporting youth suicide prevention. It will simply make it easier for those involved to take a more unified approach to the provision of services."

Laila Harré said good progress has already been made on implementing the Strategy but it was clear to the coalition that better coordination across government and communities was needed.

"I'm confident that this leadership boost will result in better designed and implemented programmes, increased awareness of the national Strategy and more effective relationships between all groups working on youth suicide prevention," Laila Harré said.


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