February 19, 2015
Whanau stories reveal suicide response
The chair of the Suicide Mortality Review Committee believes it could help develop effective ways to reduce the number of suicides.
The committee is a pilot, with no guarantee it will continue.
Professor Robert Kydd says a new Health Quality and Safety Commission report showing that suicide was the largest single cause of death of children and young people in New Zealand highlights the need for action.
There is considerable Maori input on the committee, as Maori have the highest mortality rates.
Professor Kydd says they are trying to get past the statistics.
"One of the approaches we are taking is whanau storytelling, which is to try to get individual families to tell some of their stories about what it has been like for them," he says.
Professor Kydd says while there are initiatives to increase the ability of Maori and Pacific communities to intervene when there is a potential for suicide, it’s important that isn’t a substitute for calling on health professionals.
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