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Major Maori led suicide prevention initiatives launched

Video of the announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDCI5OfycUw&feature=youtu.be

Three major new initiatives launched:

New online national resource called “called how to have a korero”

New health promotion campaigns targeting men where they meet, work and play

New national network of community led “korero” circles

The Chair of the National Maori Authority and former Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia, Matthew Tukaki, has today launched new series of initiatives focused on suicide prevention saying that “Government inaction and more of the same business model of mental health service provision was not addressing the challenge of the daily struggle of life many New Zealanders face:

“Suicide touches us all and its through all of us pulling in the same direction across our communities where we can have the greatest impact. The only target we should be setting is ensuring more New Zealanders live long and healthy lives and to achieve this we need to understand that suicide is not just about mental health it’s about true prevention – addressing the elephant in the room which is the challenge of the daily struggle of life.” Tukaki said

“Today I am announcing a package of new initiatives that come straight back to community involvement and connection – the point that its communities who know what communities want and if we are going to achieve change then it will be those communities who create the momentum.” Tukaki said

“The first new initiative will be called “how to have a korereo / conversation” and we be available online from the 25th of September. It will contain a plethora of resources from understanding the sign that a loved one or friend might be in trouble, how have to have a conversation and what to do next. It will also include non-mental health related referral links and resources from relationships and financial / budget matters right through to housing and so on. Importantly it will be home to some simple resources around setting up the second initiative – that is a national network of talking / korero circles – in communities led, and governed by community. Its often in these age old environment that people tend to open up and others tend to render help. That’s why the talking and listening skills side of things will be so important – and at the same time we increase the network of volunteers who active in communities who are often left out of workforce development plans and strategies. Lets harness the power of our community instead of leaving them to operate in a vacuum.” Tukaki said

“The third initiative is a new series of out of the box health promotion campaigns aimed at men in placed where our men meet. Very simple messages such as how to talk and listen but located in our clubs and pubs, at the urinals on the walls and in barber shops across the country. I’ll encourage all of these organisations to get on board and simply download the posters and display them. The truth is men, whether Maori or non-Maori, will often not seek help from a GP or a mental health professional – so lets get them on that path to help seeking in messages and in locations where they are more likely to get on board.” Tukaki said

The new initiatives will be launched and active from the 25th of September. No funds were made available from the New Zealand Government or DHB’s – this is solely a combined initiative between the National Maori Nga Ngaru and the New Zealand Maori Council. The initiative has been designed for all New Zealanders with a particular focus on Men and Maori Men:

“So this is a call to arms to our communities, our sporting clubs, gangs, community groups, men and women, young, the middle aged and the not so young any more – lets all pull together and prevent suicide in Aotearoa.” Said Tukaki


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