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:

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.

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New resource - Tihei mauri ora: Supporting whānau through suicidal distress

Read Tihei mauri ora onlineThe Mental Health Foundation has produced a new suicide prevention resource for whānau Māori. Tihei mauri ora: Supporting whānau through suicidal distress provides whānau with information and suggestions about how to support people who might be distressed or in crisis, and those who are recovering from feeling suicidal.

Written with extensive consultation with Māori suicide prevention experts, whānau, and communities, this resource features information about warning signs to look out for, how to act in a crisis, and explores ways to support loved ones struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Theresa Reihana’s powerful paintings illuminate Tihei mauri ora. Her art reflects the strength of whānau and the value of whakapapa and human connection.

We hope this resource will be a valuable tool for whānau to help those who need it most. The Mental Health Foundation would like to thank and acknowledge all those who contributed to the development of Tihei mauri ora, in particular the contribution of project lead, Pania Lee (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru, Ngā Ruahinerangi).

There are many ways you can get a copy of Tihei mauri ora. You can download the PDF, or read it online. It is also available as an ePub so you can read it on your mobile or tablet. As always, you can order print copies of the resource from our shop.

Register for the Kia Piki te Ora national conference

This year's Kia Piki te Ora national Māori suicide prevention hui will be held on 29 May 2014 in Whanganui.

Attendees will participate in interactive workshops, hear from a range of experts and contribute to discussions on the impact of suicide on the community and how to prevent it. Guest speakers include Hon Tariana Turia, Mike King and Professor Sir Mason Durie. Tickets cost $50 or $80 with dinner. Email evelyn "at" to register.


Waves - suicide grief education programme, Wellington

A new Waves group support programme starts in May in Wellington, for adults who have been affected by the suicide of someone they know. The grief education programme runs over 8 weeks between mid May and mid July, at the Skylight office in Newtown, Wellington.

The Waves programme is facilitated by professional counsellors and educators. The group allows members to

  • share their thoughts and feelings around what’s happened
  • discuss the nature of suicide
  • gain information and ideas about how to care for themselves and others, including children, after a suicide

If you are interested in joining the group or learning more, please contact Skylight on 0800 299 100, or email jenny "at"

If you have lost someone to suicide and do not live in Wellington, our resource database includes a list of support groups throughout New Zealand.


Lifeline Aotearoa launches web-whakaaro video series

Lifeline Aotearoa has launched a series of 'web-whakaaro' videos as part of its suicide prevention campaign –'Start the conversation today – Me tīmata te kōrero i tēnei rā!'

The campaign has included the launch of suicide crisis helpline 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 82 88 65) and a series of television advertisements encouraging people to reach out for help.

Through the next phase of its campaign, Lifeline will release a series of thirty-five videos sharing perspectives from Māori and Pasifika community members.

“This next phase consists of a series of web-whakaaro. Whakaaro can mean 'thought, opinion, idea or gift' in te reo Māori, which I think captures what this next phase is all about." says Lifeline CEO, Jo Denvir.



The first videos in the series are from Pacific Inc and Le Va CEO Dr Monique Faleafa, Māori broadcaster and producer Annabelle Lee Harris, Māori actor, writer, poet, presenter and eco-warrior Anatonio Te Maioha and actress Amber Cureen.

For more videos on Māori and Pacific suicide prevention, subscribe to the SPINZ YouTube channel and watch our YouTube playlists on suicide prevention within Māori communities and Pacific communities.


Free Australian webinar on LGBTI suicide

Researcher Dr Delaney Skerrett will present a free webinar on suicidal behaviours in Australia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities on 8 April (3-4pm New Zealand time). The webinar is the latest in a free series run by MindOUT!, the mental health and suicide prevention project within the National LGBTI Health Alliance in Australia.

Dr Delaney Skerrett is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) at Griffith University. He is currently the project leader on AISRAP's study "Fatal Suicidal Behaviours in LGBTI Populations in Australia".

MindOUT!'s webinar series focuses on topics relevant to understanding mental health and suicide prevention for sexual and gender minorities. During each webinar, a presenter speaks for around 40 minutes, followed by a Q&A session. Webinar participants are able to watch the presenter through a video link and ask questions via an instant message program.

You can register for the 8 April webinar on the MindOUT! website, or watch recordings of previous webinars.

For more resources and information on LGBTI suicide prevention, please visit our resource database.


Community funding available for Māori and Pacific suicide prevention

A new community fund supporting Māori and Pacific suicide prevention is now open for applications. Waka Hourua's Community Fund will distribute $2 million to projects through two funding rounds. Applications for the first funding round are due on 31 March.

One-off funding is available to Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, Pacific families and communities who can show how their suicide prevention or response initiative will contribute to greater resilience, connection, protection and inclusiveness for all its members.

Projects should contribute to one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Families, whānau and communities are strongly connected to one another and people actively participate in the wider community
  • Families, whānau and communities have their own approaches and plans in place and are actively building resilience and reducing risks of suicide
  • People are informed about and assisted to access the services available to them
  • Community leaders empower people, foster resilience and bring people and resources together
  • Families, whānau and communities have stronger relationships and confidence to be able to talk about their difficulties
  • People bereaved by suicide receive the support they need within their families and whānau.

Suicide rates for Māori are 1.8 times higher than for Pākehā, and the rate for young Māori is 2.4 times higher than for young non-Māori, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Health. 

Read more about the fund and apply online through the Waka Hourua website.


New YouTube video collection on technology and suicide prevention

The SPINZ YouTube channel includes a new playlist of videos about how social media, mobile phones, video games and other digital technologies can be used within suicide prevention.



The collection shares discussions about the use of social media for suicide prevention and how different platforms deal with suicidal searches and behaviour, and examples of how blogs, games and e-therapy tools are being used to create connection, treat depression and prevent suicide

The SPINZ channel also includes playlists on suicide prevention within Māori communities, Pacific communities and rainbow communities, and a collection about the experience of grief and bereavement related to losing someone to suicide. We add to these playlists as we discover relevant content on YouTube - you can subscribe to the SPINZ YouTube channel to see the latest additions.

Read more about how to help someone online if they are writing about self-harm or suicide, and other resources on internet technologies and suicide prevention.


Feedback sought on research priorities for Māori and Pacific suicide prevention

New national service Waka Hourua has released a draft Strategic Research Agenda outlining priorities for Māori and Pacific suicide prevention research, and is inviting public feedback.

The draft Agenda, Te Ra o te Waka Hourua aims to build the evidence base of what works for Māori whānau, hapū, iwi, Pacific families and communities to prevent suicide. It sets out a framework for the research Waka Hourua will fund and facilitate in four different priority areas:

  • Māori and Pacific Development
  • Cultural Identity
  • Supporting Recovery
  • Cultural Knowledge

The draft Strategic Research Agenda is now available for review and feedback by 26 February 2014. Feedback will help to inform the final Strategic Research Agenda and the priority funding areas for a one-off research fund, which will be made available in April 2014.


Suicide Mortality Review Committee Call for Nominations

The Health Quality & Safety Commission Board is seeking up to four members to participate in a time-limited Suicide Mortality Review Committee.  Nominations close on Thursday, 6 March 2014 at 5pm.  

Collectively, members of the Committee will have the following expertise:

  • knowledge of mortality review systems
  • knowledge of suicide and suicide prevention
  • knowledge of Māori suicide issues
  • knowledge of suicide issues from a service user / family perspective
  • knowledge of the specific sub-groups chosen for this suicide mortality review feasibility trial, i.e., users of specialist mental health services, Māori youth (with a focus on the involvement of alcohol and drugs) and men aged 25–64.
  • knowledge of research methods and process, particularly in relation to health and social systems
  • knowledge of data and information gathering systems and analysis
  • clinical experience in mental health and addiction services

Member selection criteria, an application for membership, and the Suicide Mortality Review Committee draft Terms of Reference can be found on the Commission website


New contact phone number for SPINZ

The Mental Health Foundation's Auckland office has relocated to new premises, and our contact phone numbers have changed. The new contact phone number for suicide prevention information is (09) 623 4813.

Our new premises are at Units 109-110, Zone 23, 23 Edwin St, Mt Eden. The lending library will be available at the new site from Monday 17th February.

See our contact page for staff phone extensions and other ways to contact us.


Suicide prevention programme for Māori and Pacific communities launched

A new national suicide prevention programme for Māori and Pacific communities, Waka Hourua, was launched at a symposium on Māori and indigenous suicide prevention on 10 February 2014. 

Governed by a leadership group chaired by Professor Sir Mason Durie, the programme will support Māori whānau, hapū, and iwi, and Pacific families and communities to develop and enhance their own capacity and capability to prevent suicide, and to respond safely and effectively if and when suicide occurs.

Waka Hourua delivers on action area 1.1 of the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013-2016. The programme will be designed to increase resilience among Māori and Pacific communities, and empower those communities to prevent suicide. The programme also seeks to build leadership and knowledge through education, training, and resources that are relevant to Māori and Pacific communities.

A one-off fund of $2 million is available to support community-based suicide intervention initiatives that will help Māori and Pacific families and communities to both prevent and respond to suicide.

Suicide rates for Māori are 1.8 times higher than for Pākehā, and the rate for young Māori is 2.4 times higher than for young non-Māori, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Health. 

For more information about Waka Houra, or to apply for funding, visit the new Waka Hourua website or listed to Trish Davis, CEO of Te Rau Matatini, interviewed on Waatea News.


World-first research on the health and wellbeing of transgender young people released

An article produced by the Adolescent Health Research Group at the University of Auckland and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health is the first nationally representative survey to report on the overall health and wellbeing of transgender young people.

The Health and Well-Being of Transgender High School Students analyses results of the Youth'12 survey of secondary school students across New Zealand. 8,166 secondary school completed the survey, which included questions about gender identity. 1.2% reported being transgender, and a further 2.5% were unsure about their gender, and 1.7% did not understand the question.

"Transgender students are a small but important group of young people and they were diverse in terms of their background and experiences," said Dr Terryann Clark, who led the research. “About two-thirds of these students had not previously disclosed to anyone that they are transgender.”

The research found significant health and wellbeing disparities for transgender young people. Approximately 40% of transgender young people had significant depressive symptoms, had harmed themselves, and had been unable to access care when they needed it. Transgender students were more likely to experience mistreatment, and one in five transgender students had attempted suicide in the previous 12 months.

The paper is careful to point out that gender diversity is a normal part of human life, and that discrimination and unsafe environments contribute to reduced wellbeing and suicidality. Being transgender, in itself, does not cause suicidality or mental health problems. The paper identifies the importance of whānau support, and the impact of having at least one supportive adult figure in reducing these negative statistics and contributing to increased wellbeing.

The researchers conclude that it is important to address the challenging environments these students face through training for health professionals, teachers and counsellors, and to increase access to responsive services for transgender youth.


Latest official data on suicide deaths released: Suicide Facts 2011

Suicide Facts 2011

The Ministry of Health has released Suicide Facts: Deaths and intentional self-harm hospitalisations 2011.

The data show that overall, New Zealand's suicide rate was slightly lower in 2011 than in 2010, and 29.8% lower than the peak rates in the late 1990s.

The overall rate for youth suicide has continued to show an overall decline, but remains high compared with other OECD countries. Māori youth suicide rates are not showing the same downward trend, and are 2.4 times higher than for non-Māori youth.

We are moving to new premises 

The Mental Health Foundation's Auckland office is relocating to new premises during the two weeks from 3-14 February.

Our lending library is now closed in preparation for the move.

Our new premises are at Units 109-110, Zone 23, 23 Edwin St, Mt Eden. Full library services will be available at the new site from Monday 17th February.

If you have any questions about the move, please call us on 09 300 7030 or email: resource "at"

Help create guidelines to prevent suicide in immigrant and refugee communities

The Centre for International Mental Health (CIMH) at the University of Melbourne is seeking people with relevant expertise to help develop guidelines to prevent suicide in migrant and refugee communities. The guidelines will be designed for members of the public who are supporting people from migrant or refugee backgrounds who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or displaying suicidal behaviour.

CIMH is particularly looking for people with these three types of experience:

  • People from a migrant or refugee background who have seriously thought about suicide or attempted suicide in the past, or
  • People who have someone close to them (e.g. a close friend or family member) from a migrant or refugee background who has attempted suicide or taken his/her own life; or
  • Professionals who are suicide prevention experts through their clinical and/or research experience with people from a migrant or refugee background;

Participants must have an excellent understanding of suicide and its prevention among people from immigrant and/or refugee backgrounds, the signs and symptoms these people are likely to encounter, and how to respond upon recognition of these.

Participants will need to complete 3 online questionnaires. These questionnaires will probably take around 3 hours of time in total to complete.

For more information about the study, read the Plain Language Statement (PDF).

If you would like to sign up to the project, nominate someone you know, or simply find out more information, please contact:

Ms Tiffany Too
Project Officer (Mental Health in Multicultural Australia - MHiMA)
Research Assistant
Centre for International Mental Health
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Email: tiffany.too "at"
Tel: +61 3 8344 3185



News archive: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Top Page last updated: 10 June 2014