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Lifeline New Zealand views recommendations

Lifeline New Zealand views recommendations on media reporting of suicide as a "positive first step."

Lifeline New Zealand has welcomed suicide reporting recommendations by the Law Commission, released today, as a positive step forward.

The Law Commission has recommended that media be allowed to report self-inflicted deaths as a ‘suspected suicide’; although reporting deaths as suicide and the manner of death is still prohibited.

Lifeline NZ CEO, Jo Denvir, is pleased with the change as a first step. “We believe this is a positive decision and will replace the current terminology of ‘no suspicious circumstances’, which everyone reads as suicide anyway. It also brings suicide into the conversation in a very subtle way which, for many, can mean a more open dialogue between friends and family members.

While research results around the presentation of suicide in the media is mixed, there is a general agreement that a significant area for creating risk is when means of suicide is reported. As such, Lifeline supports the Law Commission’s recommendation that method of death be withheld.

Lifeline provides suicide prevention and intervention training throughout New Zealand to a range of communities, in addition to providing the 24 hour suicide crisis helpline, 0508 82 88 65.
“Part of what we work towards, as an organisation that regularly works with suicidality, is to reduce the guilt and stigma around suicide,” says Ms Denvir. “When we start talking about it, we find that everyone has a suicide-story. It could be a family member, a friend of the family, or a work colleague. But usually everyone knows of someone.”

Lifeline encourages anyone who would like to know more about suicide prevention to view the awareness videos and whakaaro on www.suicideprevention.org.nz


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