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$8m for Maori, Pasifika suicide prevention

Monday, 27 May 2013

Media Release

Dunne: $8m for Maori, Pasifika suicide prevention; support for all families

Eight million dollars will be spent over the next four years supporting Māori and Pasifika communities on developing their own solutions to suicide, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today.

In launching the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013 to 2016, Mr Dunne said a non-government organisation will be contracted to develop suicide prevention services that will help Maori whanau, hapu, iwi, and Pasifika families and communities prevent suicide.

“I particularly want to acknowledge the role of my colleague and fellow Associate Health Minister, Tariana Turia, who was instrumental in getting the funding for this important initiative.

“Her commitment and drive on this issue has been outstanding,” Mr Dunne said.

“Essentially, the initiative will include ensuring that relevant education and training is available in these communities, and very much focused on building resilience and leadership.

“From this we will get a better understanding of what works specifically for Māori and Pasifika in suicide prevention,” he said.

Mr Dunne said that communities themselves were often best placed to implement suicide prevention activities.

“They can reach people who are not in contact with government services and tailor programmes to fit circumstances and needs.

“Strong, cohesive and self-determining communities are a very real protective factor against suicide, so I think this is a very worthwhile and exciting initiative,” he said.

Another key initiative in the action plan is more support for New Zealanders who lose a loved one to suicide.

“What we are committing to here is that no matter where someone lives in New Zealand, if they lose a family member to suicide, they will have support available to them,” Mr Dunne said.

It is estimated that around six people are directly impacted by every suicide, with that number even higher in some family and whānau, he said.

An initial response service trialled and delivered by Victim Support in seven district health board areas has been well received and under the initiative will be made available nationwide from next year with additional funding of $200,000 a year.

The full plan can be found at www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-suicide-prevention-action-plan-2013-2016


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