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Govt releases suicide prevention strategy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says New Zealand's suicide rate of about 500 a year is too high. © Getty Images Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says New Zealand's suicide rate of about 500 a year is too high. The government has released a draft suicide prevention strategy and wants public input.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says New Zealand's suicide rate of about 500 a year is too high.

"I'm particularly worried about the rates for youth, and specifically Maori and Pacific young people.''

Dr Coleman says the draft strategy acknowledges the need for input and engagement from right across society.

"Health services, particularly mental health services, and government agencies, can't do this work alone.''

Themes to emerge from preparatory work on how to prevent suicide included:

* The need for a broad cross-society and cross-government approach

* Further work to reduce the stigma around suicide and mental illness

* Encouraging safe conversations about suicide

* Further increasing the access to support and professional help

* Increasing ongoing support for parents and families.

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