This area of our website shares updates and news relevant to suicide prevention in New Zealand. To keep up to date with the latest news, events, research and resources, you can:
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The news in this section is provided for your information - links to external events, websites and resources do not imply endorsement by the Mental Health Foundation. Read our website disclaimer.
Creative Commons photo by Simon Williams
Registrations are now open for this year's Kia Piki te Ora national Māori suicide prevention hui, to be held in Bluff on 22 May.
The hui will be hosted by Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu at Te Rau Aroha marae. Agencies, providers and individuals and invited to register for a day of kōrero about engaging the community in Māori suicide prevention.
The day's programme includes speakers from the Ministry of Health, iwi and Government leadership, Kia Piki and the community. The Mental Health Foundation is proud to support the attendance of Morgan Cooke, board member of Rainbow Youth, to share perspectives on sexuality, gender identity and suicide prevention.
Registrations for the hui will close on Friday, 10th May 2013.
Te Pou have released a major new review of evidence to guide suicide prevention activities in New Zealand schools. The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health as part of the suicide prevention research fund and written by Professor Sunny Collings, supports a new resource kit for schools to be published by the Ministry of Education.
Updated evidence and guidance supporting suicide prevention activity in New Zealand Schools 2003–2012 draws together the latest evidence for suicide prevention and postvention activities in a school setting.
Evidence suggests that programmes run through schools can be effective in recognising and supporting young people at risk of suicide, but that care must be taken to identify and manage any unintended negative consequences. The review looks at components of successful school-based programmes, as well as approaches to avoid.
The resource also makes recommendations for supporting a school community when a student dies by suicide.
A selection of resources for suicide prevention in schools is available through our Resource Finder database.
Waiheke Island has a new suicide bereavement support group. Piripoho/Consolation Support Group has been set up by Tina Sailer, who facilitates the monthly meetings. Those who have been lost a loved one to suicide can come along to the Piritahi marae to meet with others who share their experiences for support and discussion.
The group meets on the first Saturday of every month at 10 am at the Kohanga Reo building at the Piritahi Marae.
For more information on the Piripoho/Consolation support group, contact:
Hau Ora (Judy Davies or Lisa Smith) (09) 372 0022
Tina Sailer (09) 372 9061
Puhi Reweti 021 02300622
If you have lost someone you know to suicide and you don't live on Waiheke, you can check out our list of other support groups around the country for those bereaved by suicide. Our Resource Finder database also has a range of resources online to help support you and to assist you in coping with grief and loss.
A new series of four videos is available on our website looking at mental wellbeing and suicide prevention in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex populations.
The videos share the presentations from LGBTTI Wellness and Suicide: What do we need to change?, a one-day symposium held in Auckland on 27 February 2013. The day was hosted by Auckland District Health Board, OUTLine NZ, Rainbow Youth, Affinity Services and the Mental Health Foundation.
The symposium began with presentations from Moira Clunie, Dr Mathijs Lucassen, Mani Bruce Mitchell, and Associate Professor Mark Henrickson. Presenters discussed the disproportionately high rates of suicidal behaviours and mental health problems among LGBTTI populations, and links with the discrimination and exclusion that many individuals experience. Presentations also explored wellbeing, identity satisfaction and strengths within LGBTTI communities.
Research was presented that suggested a range of responses could contribute to suicide prevention and strengthening wellbeing: improving understanding of LGBTTI people and reducing discrimination within the whole population, building capacity within LGBTTI organisations, developing inclusive policies and cultural competence within mental health services, schools and other organisations, and developing tools and treatment approaches to strengthen individual wellbeing and resilience. Videos from these presentations are available on the SPINZ website.
The second half of the day was spent in workshops. Participants discussed questions such as what mental health services could do differently to make services accessible to sexual and gender minorities, and how communities can work together to reduce suicide. Discussion notes from the workshops will be compiled into a report to inform further action.
Feedback from the symposium was largely positive, with participants particularly valuing networking opportunities, and the chance to hear about LGBTTI-specific research.
More resources on LGBTTI suicide prevention are available in our Resource Finder.
The third and final webinar in our series on Māori suicide prevention was held on Tuesday 19 March. Dr Nicole Coupe (Kerere Research Evaluation and Development) and Dr Lynne Russell (Victoria Unievrsity of Wellington) shared their insights and experiences on how to prevent Māori suicide, with a focus on improving clinical care and intervention.
Dr Coupe introduced her research project Te Ira Tangata, which used the process of pōwhiri as a model for engaging with Māori people who have made suicide attempts. Dr Russell presented from her personal experience as a bereaved whānau member, and her background as a Māori mental health researcher.
The video and slides from this presentation are now available to view online.
Both researchers were interviewed by TVNZ's Te Karere for a short piece about how strong cultural identity helps prevents suicide. The video below is in te reo Māori and English, with English subtitles.
Recordings of all three webinars in the series are now available to watch on our website:
- Preventing Māori Suicide: What do we need to do?
with Keri Lawson-Te Aho
- Preventing Māori suicide: Involving whānau and community
with Michael Naera and Di Grennell
- Preventing Māori suicide: Improving care and intervention
with Dr Nicole Coupe and Dr Lynne Russell
If you watched any of the three webinars, whether you attended on the day or viewed the video recordings afterwards, we'd love to hear what you thought! Please take a few minutes to fill out our evaluation forms, to help us shape future webinars and events, and ensure that they are relevant to your needs.
- Survey for webinar #1: Keri Lawson-Te Aho.
- Survey for webinar #2: Michael Naera and Di Grennell.
- Survey for webinar #3: Dr Nicole Coupe and Dr Lynne Russell.
The Mental Health Foundation recently started a Book Blog to share staff reviews of books related to wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention.
To keep up to date with new book reviews, you can:
- check back each week for a new review.
- subscribe to the Mental Health Foundation weekly e-bulletin which includes links to the latest book reviews as well as research, resources, news and events.
- follow the RSS feed.
Books reviewed in the blog can be borrowed from our comprehensive lending library within the Resource & Information Service. The library includes a specialist suicide prevention collection. It is located at 81 New North Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland and is open to the public from 9.00am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday; phone (09) 300 7030.
If you are outside Auckland, try your local public library for a copy first. If they don’t have it, we may be able to post the book out to you (requires membership).
Three recent book reviews from our suicide prevention collection are:
- Half in love: surviving the legacy of suicide, a memoir by Linda Gray Sexton, daughter of renowned poet Anne Sexton. Linda writes about her mother's suicide as well as her own experiences of depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
- Lonely at the top: The high cost of men's success by American academic Dr Thomas Joiner. The book addresses the chronic loneliness that affects men as they age, how and why it happens, and what we can do about it.
- For colored boys who have considered suicide when the rainbow is still not enough, an anthology edited by Kevin Boykin. For coloured boys... includes 44 stories by gay, (mostly) black men. Topics covered range from coping with abuse and bullying, to stories of coming out, navigating the adult world – dealing with faith and family, friends and lovers.
Almost 800 participants from around the country joined us on Tuesday 19 February for the second of three webinars about Māori suicide prevention. Michael Naera (Kia Piki te Ora) and Di Grennell (Te Puni Kōkiri) presented their perspectives and experiences on suicide prevention for Māori, and how to involve whānau and community in developing effective responses.
Michael Naera spoke about indigenous responses to suicide prevention through community development and community action initiatives, and Di presented on the whānau ora concept: strengthening whānau wellbeing and capability, and whānau centred approaches to services and suicide prevention activities.
The video and slides from this presentation are now available to view online.
The third webinar in the series, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation in collaboration with Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University of Wellington, will be held on 19 March. Attendance is free, and you can register online:
If you watched the second webinar, whether you attended on the day or viewed the video recording afterwards, we'd love to hear what you thought! Please take a few minutes to fill out our evaluation form. Your feedback will help us shape future webinars and events, and ensure that they are relevant to your needs.
Photo provided by Cr Cathy Casey
On 26 February, Auckland Council held a meeting of the Social and Community Development Forum with the theme of mental health and suicide prevention. The forum, attended by Councillors and Council staff, sought advice from community organisations about how Auckland Council could contribute to preventing suicide.
Two presenters from the Mental Health Foundation spoke about the Council's role in building a flourishing community, and the role of wellbeing in suicide prevention.
Mental Health Promoter Dale Little spoke about mental health promotion concepts and opportunities for Auckland Council to promote wellbeing in the community. Moira Clunie, Suicide Prevention Information Development Manager, introduced suicide demographics, risk & protective factors and prevention strategies based on mental health promotion concepts.
Slides from both presentations are available to view or download.
The forum also heard from University of Auckland academics Professor Ngaire Kerse, Debra Lampshire and Associate Professor Elsie Ho, CEO of CASPER Maria Bradshaw, and Tommy Hamilton, CE of Rainbow Youth.
Council staff presented about the role that Auckland Council can and does play in supporting Aucklanders' mental health and wellbeing. Forum chair, Councillor Cathy Casey explained, "that comes in many forms from funding and partnerships to events and facilities that help communities feel safe, nurtured and cared for and, ultimately, to flourish."
Keri Lawson-Te Aho, lecturer in Māori Health at Otago University's Wellington campus, spoke in the first of three webinars on Māori Suicide Prevention on Tuesday 29 January. The video and slides from this presentation are now available to view online.
The response to the webinar was phenomenal, with around 750 views on the day of broadcast. Feedback received was overwhelmingly positive; many viewers responded to say they would implement what they had learned during the webinar into practice with their work in the Māori community.
Keri said that a paradigm shift is needed to address Māori suicide prevention, and that any strategies to address Māori suicide needed to take into account Māori worldviews, values, and strategies. She said that Māori needed to look for answers within their own culture to address the problem of Māori suicide.
Keri stressed the importance of involving whānau at every level of suicide prevention. “We need to make ourselves available to talk to those in need - provide a safe context to kōrero and open up” if we are to successfully prevent Māori suicide, she said.
The webinar, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation in collaboration with Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University of Wellington, was the first of three webinars focusing on Māori suicide prevention that will be held in 2013. The next two are:
If you watched the first webinar, whether you attended on the day or viewed the video recording afterwards, we'd love to hear what you thought! Please take a few minutes to fill out our evaluation form. Your feedback will help us shape future webinars and events, and ensure that they are relevant to your needs.
On 27 February 2013, the Mental Health Foundation will join with Auckland District Health Board, OUTLine NZ, Rainbow Youth, and Affinity Services to present a one-day symposium looking at mental wellbeing and suicide prevention in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takataapui and intersex populations.
LGBTTI Wellness and Suicide: What Do We Need to Change? will be held at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in central Auckland. Attendance is $35.
Anyone from the LGBTTI community is encouraged to attend, but the Symposium is also for professionals and organisations that provide a service or support LGBTTI people. The Symposium has been subsidised by Auckland DHB to encourage widespread attendance and contributions.
For more information and to register, see the event listing in our calendar.
Associate Minister of Health with responsibility for suicide prevention, Hon Peter Dunne, has noted in a Parliamentary speech that the next Suicide Prevention Action Plan will be released in the "next couple of months".
The new Action Plan will update the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy to "focus more on today's realities", and will consider "the important role of community agencies working alongside official agencies" to reduce the incidence of suicide.
You can watch Minister Dunne's speech below or read his 7 Commitments to New Zealanders for 2013.
Lifeline Aotearoa has developed a new website that provides information about their ASIST and safeTALK suicide prevention training courses. To learn more about Lifeline's courses for individuals, schools and organizations, and to find a course near you, visit www.suicideprevention.org.nz.
Last year's Suicide Prevention 2012 conference, hosted by the University of Auckland, brought together a range of local and international speakers sharing recent research, practice and expertise in different areas of suicide prevention.
We filmed the presentations for the conference organisers, and some of the presentations are now available online:
Further videos will be made available in early 2013. Slides from the conference are available on the Suicide Prevention 2012 conference website.
In collaboration with the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University of Wellington, we are producing a series of three live, interactive webinars in early 2013 sharing indigenous knowledge and perspectives on Māori suicide prevention.
Attendance at the webinars is free, and you can register through the links below:
The webinars will be of interest to kaimahi/professionals from a range of sectors who work with Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, hapori Māori and individuals. This may include health providers, social services, iwi organisations, kaupapa Māori services, NGOs and community groups, tertiary institutions and high schools, local and central government, organisations directly involved in suicide prevention, and other people interested in preventing Māori suicide.
For those unable to attend the live events, they will also be recorded for later viewing on our website.