Government opens New Zealand's first Suicide Prevention Office

DAVID UNWIN/STUFF
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visits Palmerston North Hospital to announce funding for a new mental health facility.

New Zealand's first Suicide Prevention Office which aims to cut New Zealand's high suicide rate was officially opened on Wednesday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark. 

The office is part of the Government's response to its inquiry into mental health and addiction.

"Last year 685 New Zealanders are believed to have taken their lives through suicide. Each of those deaths was a tragedy and we must do more to support people in distress, or struggling with addiction," Ardern said.

The Government also announced a $12 million Māori and Pacific suicide prevention community fund.

READ MORE:
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"Over the next four years this will be used to support Māori and Pacific providers to design and deliver culturally responsive suicide prevention initiatives," Ardern said. 

The Suicide Prevention Office will initially be established as a team within the Ministry of Health's Mental Health and Addiction Directorate. It will be lead by director, Carla na Nagara, the former Manawatū coroner.

 Clark said the Suicide Prevention Office was part of the Government's wider investment in mental health services.

"As well as our work in suicide prevention, we're investing in new frontline mental health and addiction services up and down New Zealand," he said. 

Jacinda Ardern needs to start remaking the Labour Party in her own image, if it is to continue to cash in on her powerful brand.
ROSA WOODS/STUFF
Jacinda Ardern needs to start remaking the Labour Party in her own image, if it is to continue to cash in on her powerful brand.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825