August 29, 2019
Theft of hope factor in suicide jump
A worker on Maori family and sexual violence says different approaches are needed to deal with Maori suicide.
The latest data shows Maori taking their lives at more than twice the rate of the general population.
Russell Smith from Korowai Tumanako says the purging of Maori values and identity is a factor.
Kaumatua as well as researchers like Moana Jackson have talked about the damage done to whanau by stereotypes such as those in the movie Once Were Warriors.
"What it does, it tends to strip away the hope we had for ourselves. When you start to strip away that self worth and self identity when we talk about sexual violence and domestic violence, to abuse a person you must first be able to demoralise them. Once you have demoralised them then you can force them to do things they ordinarily wouldn't do," Mr Smith says.
He says the mental health system is over-medicated, and there needs to be more talk therapy and acknowledgement of the trauma people are living through.
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