Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Saving Lives Is More Important Than Saving Dollars

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram

Progressive Leader

Saving Lives Is More Important Than Saving Dollars

22 August 2010

Progressive leader and Wigram MP Jim Anderton has criticised the government for cutting counselling services for people in Christchurch and other parts of New Zealand who have lost family members to suicide.

“As Associate Minister of Health in charge of the suicide prevention programme, in the last Labour-led government, I introduced these new support services so that experienced clinical psychologists and Victim Support workers had the resources to help families after they have lost a loved one to suicide,” Jim Anderton said.

“It’s not just because it’s the humane and right thing to do - to help people at the worst time of their lives - but because research shows that there is a very real danger of other members of a family committing suicide unless they get the help they need after the loss, by suicide, of a family member.

“It is an outrage that the National Government thinks it is no big deal to cut the only ‘Help Line’ that these families have for the sake of saving about $3 million dollars.

“What makes it even worse is that the number of recorded suicide deaths is on a downward trend since we introduced these programmes. We’re having some success. Now is not the time to stop.”

Whilst the number of recorded suicide deaths remain high, there has been a significant downward trend in recent years.

From a high of 516 deaths in 1999, this had fallen to 483 deaths in 2007. Among young people, those aged 15 to 24 years, the trend was more marked dropping from 120 deaths in 1999 to 94 in 2007 – a drop of 46.6%.

“Unlike the road toll the factors causing people to attempt suicide are complex. That’s why we need a range of initiatives and responses to prevent people attempting suicide and to support families when they lose a loved one.”

In 2007, research showed that grief after a suicide can raise a wide range of issues for those affected, including the need for information about suicide and mental health problems, the need for social and emotional support, and access to counselling and therapy.

“To pull the rug on funding for counselling services when we know we’re getting results and saving lives, is unforgivable”, Jim Anderton said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Raising Corporate Taxes Has Become A Hot New Political Cause

Surprisingly, “raising taxes” has become a very fashionable political idea in 2021. That’s right. After decades of being seen (at best) as a necessary evil, higher corporate taxes are now being treated as the Great Good Thing that will revive the US economy, re-distribute wealth productively, help to build neglected and decaying public infrastructure, fund public health, address social inequality, restore a sense of community and generally make everyone feel better about the society in which they live... More>>


Government: Delivers Next Phase Of Climate Action

The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first ... More>>

Government: Independent Experts To Advise On Post-Vaccination Future

The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination ... More>>

Travel: Trans-Tasman Bubble To Start 19 April

New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

World Travel: New Zealand Temporarily Suspending Travel From India - PM Jacinda Ardern

Travel into New Zealand from India - including for New Zealand citizens and residents - is being temporarily suspended because of high numbers of Covid-19 cases. More>>

Finance: Crown Accounts Again Better Than Forecast

Hon Grant Robertson Minister of Finance The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels