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Youth Suicide Prevention Budget Package

Youth Suicide prevention programmes will receive a $1.673 million boost in this year's budget, Youth Affairs Minister Laila Harré announced this morning.

"The package contains three initiatives that bring us a step closer to meeting the aims of the Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, the government's blueprint for reducing the unacceptably high rate of youth suicide in New Zealand. " Laila Harré said

It includes a new service to help and monitor young people already identified as at risk, the extension of a programme aimed at increasing the availability of youth suicide prevention training and information and the maintenance of a development programme that supports young people within their local communities.

Two of the three initiatives will be funded by new money, a total of $1.2 million. The third will be funded from current baseline provisions within the Department of Internal Affairs.

The funding will be ongoing.

The package includes:

 $500,000 (Vote Youth Affairs) for the continuation and expansion of Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand community information programme.

 $700,000 (Vote Child Youth and Family Service) for a new monitoring and case audit system.

 $473,000 (Vote Department of Internal Affairs) for the continuation of the community-based Youth Development Fund.

Laila Harré said the three initiatives reflect the Labour-Alliance Coalition's holistic approach to youth suicide prevention. This includes an emphasis on the healthy development and active support of all young people, as well as early warning systems to identify potential crisis situations.

"Youth suicide is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach, and that's why this package contains initiatives that focus on both the short term, in the form of crisis intervention, support and monitoring, and the long term in the form of youth and community development programmes."

The package will also complement the youth suicide prevention initiatives that are currently operating across government departments, Laila Harré said.

The budget announcement coincides with the appointment of a National Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator, part of the transfer of leadership of the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy to the Ministry of Youth Affairs earlier this year.

Ends


Budget 2001 Youth Suicide Prevention Package
Fact Sheet


Funding Details:

Vote ($million GST inclusive) 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05
New funding in Vote Youth Affairs
New funding in Vote Child, Youth, and Family Services
Existing funding in Vote Community and Voluntary Sector (Dept Internal Affairs)
0.5

0.7

0.473 0.5

0.7

0.473 0.5

0.7

0.473 0.5

0.7

0.473
TOTAL 1.673 1.673 1.673 1.673


What is the initiative designed to do?

The Youth Suicide Prevention Package is designed to reduce youth suicide. It will support community capacity through local prevention approaches and ensure that most help goes to those with highest need.


How will the money be spent?

The funds will be spent on the following three initiatives:
1) Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (SPINZ) - continuation and expansion (in Vote Youth Affairs):
 A national service to develop and disseminate advice and information on youth suicide and youth suicide prevention to communities, organisations, and individuals; and
 Crisis support grants for communities that are in acute need following a youth suicide or serious attempts.

SPINZ was established in June 1999 and is a joint operation of the Mental Health Foundation and the South Auckland Youth Health Service.

Last year SPINZ developed a Community Information Kit for the Ministry of Youth Affairs that has been widely circulated and is being piloted in six Northland communities – Dargaville, Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarei, Opononi and Mangonui.

This expansion will enable SPINZ to take a leadership role in suicide prevention in the community and non-government sector and to increase its capacity to deliver a nationwide service.

2) Youth Suicide – Monitoring and case audit system (new initiative – in Vote Child, Youth, and Family Services).
This system will:
 focus on young people in contact with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services who are at-risk of suicide; and
 provide ongoing audit of identified at-risk cases
This contract will be delivered by the Wellington School of Medicine.
It will ensure that welfare and mental health services are made available to young people at highest risk of suicidal behaviour.
The monitoring and case audit system will also provide up-to-date information on the number of young people at risk in this group, changes over time, current services being provided and gaps in service delivery.
3) Community-based Youth Development Fund (continuation – to be funded from within Vote Community and Voluntary Sector DIA)
 The continuation of up to seven projects in communities at high risk of suicide. The projects aim to develop young people’s problem solving and interpersonal skills, develop their self-esteem and cultural identity, and encourage their participation and leadership in the community.

This fund has an emphasis on the youth development needs of rangatahi Maori and young Pacific peoples.

It focuses on supporting projects that address the increased risk of self-harm associated with social disadvantage, family adversity, significant mental health problems in adolescence and adverse stressful life events.

After its first year no suicides have been recorded in the project participants (based in Kaikohe, Opotiki, Lower Hutt, Kaikoura, Buller, Papakura and Masterton), and outcomes indicate increased resiliency among these young people.

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