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Suicide prevention plans in place for all DHBs

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

9 September 2015
Suicide prevention plans in place for all DHBs

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says all DHBs now have plans in place to help them, in partnership with their local communities, prevent and respond to suicide.

Tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day – the international theme for 2015 is Reaching out and Saving Lives.

“Suicide is a serious issue for our communities. Around 500 New Zealanders take their own lives every year,” says Dr Coleman.

“While there is some evidence that suicide rates in New Zealand have declined over time, the rates remain too high, particularly for young people and Māori.”

DHBs have been working with community organisations, iwi and health professionals to review the needs of their communities and the current services being provided, to develop suicide prevention plans for the next two years.

“Reducing suicide rates requires coordinated action at a national and local level. DHBs are well placed to bring community groups together to coordinate and lead an approach that best meets local needs,” says Dr Coleman.

“Suicide prevention requires a range of approaches, from enhancing community resilience and promoting mental health, to improving the care for those most at risk of suicide.

“With formal plans now in place DHBs across the country will be able to better support the wellbeing of their communities.”

DHB suicide prevention and resilience activities include:
• All DHBs are providing suicide awareness and prevention training for people with influence in communities (teachers, ministers, and local leaders).

• Taranaki, Nelson Marlborough, South Canterbury, West Coast and Wellington region DHBs have particular suicide prevention support for rural communities.

• South Canterbury, Nelson Marlborough, Southern, West Coast and Wellington region DHBs are facilitating suicide prevention and resilience activities in workplaces.

• The Ministry of Education and MidCentral DHB jointly provide community training on suicide prevention, and they have a protocol for responding to suicide in school communities.

DHBs will provide progress reports on the implementation of their suicide prevention plans to the Ministry of Health every six months.

The Ministry of Health produced an online toolkit to assist DHBs with their suicide prevention plans, visit www.health.govt.nz for more information.

ENDS

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