Action plan to help stop suicides

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 02/04/2014

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In New Zealand there are more than 500 suicides every year, although there is a plan to reduce that number.

The suicide prevention action plan for 2013-16, published by the Ministry of Health, outlines areas that need to be worked on to reduce the number of suicides.

The plan acknowledges that multiple risk factors and life events are involved in a person ending their life. "We need to have multiple components and work at both an individual level and across the population," Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne said.

"A key feature of the plan is a stronger focus on supporting families and communities and helping them to prevent suicide,"

"Those who are closest to people who are struggling are often in the best position to know when something is wrong and to seek help."

The plan improves access to important training and information for families and communities on how to help their loved ones who are in distress.

It also expands the range and accessibility of support for those bereaved through suicide.

The plan's objectives are to support families (whanau, hapu, iwi and communities to prevent suicide and after a suicide), improve services and support for people at high risk of suicide, and strengthen the infrastructure for suicide prevention.

Those seeking immediate help can contact services such as the Arowhenua Whanau Service, which assists people who have mild to moderate mental ill nesses.

"We cover the whole of South Canterbury and we are a mobile service. We work within the community and accept referrals from any source," manager Juliet Eddington said.

The service can be contacted on (03) 6155180.

There are also other agencies in the community for anyone who needs guidance or help.

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- The Timaru Herald

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