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Headline: New toolkit to help DHBs in suicide prevention

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a new resource released today is designed to help DHBs, in partnership with their communities, prevent and respond to suicide.

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

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

The Ministry of Health, DHB staff, health professionals, community organisations, and experts in the field have co-developed a new web-resource which includes links to research, programmes and services.

The resource will help inform work underway in DHBs to reduce suicide rates and will be updated over time, with regular opportunities for DHBs to provide feedback and additions.

“We know that the factors that contribute to suicide are complex and there are no quick fixes. The work DHBs are doing to develop plans to help prevent and respond to suicide in their communities is an important part of a much wider work programme,” says Dr Coleman.

This new resource for DHBs is one of 30 initiatives in the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013-2016.

The Plan builds on existing work in suicide prevention, with an emphasis on helping communities and frontline workers to identify and respond to suicidal behaviour, reducing the impact of suicide on communities, and building the capacity of Māori and Pasifika communities to prevent suicide.

Around $25 million has been allocated across eight Government agencies to implement these initiatives.

DHBs can access the free resource via the Ministry of Health website