HEALTH

$8m community support to prevent suicide

Friday 1 June 2012, 12:16PM
By Tariana Turia
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New investment of $8 million over four years will support communities to help prevent suicide, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne and Associate health Minister Tariana Turia say.

This is in addition to the $5.8 million being invested in the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Package.

“Suicide prevention is everybody’s responsibility,” Mrs Turia says. “The Government cannot make the changes we need without a strong partnership with communities and recognition that everyone has a contribution to make to suicide prevention.

Mr Dunne, who is the minister responsible for mental health and suicide prevention, says many people at risk of suicide are not in contact with formal agencies or services.

“The people who are in the best position to provide support are family, friends, neighbours and colleagues,” he says.

“This means it is important that communities know how to recognise someone at risk, know how to respond, and know where to seek advice and help.

“This funding is particularly timely given that a new four year suicide prevention action plan is being developed this year.”

The $8 million over the next four years will support communities to work together and develop their own solutions to suicide, and access informed advice and support to implement local community action plans, Mrs Turia says.

“It is of particular concern to me, as minister with responsibilities for Māori and Pacific health, that recent statistics show disturbingly higher rates of suicide among these two groups.

“I have seen how powerful a community can be when they come together to form their own responses and solutions.”