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World Suicide Prevention Day: Pasifika for Life

World Suicide Prevention Day: Pasifika for Life

Media release 9 September 2014

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Le Va is acknowledging the courageous efforts that our communities across New Zealand carry out every day to prevent suicide for Pasifika people.

The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day is 'Suicide Prevention: One World Connected’. The theme reflects the importance of connecting with others, and working together to combat suicide.

2014 World Suicide Prevention Day is particularly significant because this is the first time in history that a national Pasifika suicide prevention programme has been in existence. The Pasifika programme, called FLO: Pasifika for Life is part of Waka Hourua – New Zealand’s national suicide prevention programme for Maori and Pasifika communities as outlined in the Ministry of Health’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013-16.

“One of our recent actions was to create a booklet that talks about the top five tactics for helping to prevent Pasifika suicide,” says Dr Monique Faleafa, chief executive of Le Va. “Connecting with others is a tactic that Pasifika research shows works as a protective factor - vital for wellbeing, a sense of purpose and relationships with healthy flow. Connecting in a meaningful way with people near you today lets them know you care and that help is there when they need it.”

“We will be doing things differently for Pasifika suicide prevention. FLO will connect communities, families and organisations so that multiple groups are contributing to resilient and flourishing Pasifika families at multiple levels across New Zealand in a coordinated way.”

Launched in March this year, FLO is empowering communities to deliver their own solutions, allocating just under $450,000 to 17 Pasifika community groups to address suicide from within their own communities, and more than $250,000 towards Pasifika suicide prevention research.

Le Va established the FLO suicide prevention ambassadors network, made up of volunteers throughout New Zealand who engage Pasifika communities in suicide prevention activities.

Every year more than 800,000 people from around the world take their own life – around one person every 40 seconds, according to WHO's first global report on suicide prevention. Every suicide is a tragedy that has long lasting effects on families and communities.

Le Va is currently working on a creative arts intervention to be showcased at the Cutting Edge conference next week.

For help today, call Lifeline 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865.

END

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