This week we had the privilege of meeting Carla na Nagara in her new role as the Director of Suicide Prevention Office (Ministry of Health). Carla brings a depth of experience and wisdom to this role, also as a Coroner, who was recognised for her dedication to suicide prevention.
The Suicide Prevention Office aims to strengthen the national leadership around suicide prevention. It will lead, champion and coordinate the implementation of Every Life Matters for Aotearoa New Zealand. The establishment of a Māori advisory function will also occur to advise on the work of the Suicide Prevention Office and implementation of Every Life Matters.
What do you know about the strategy?
Tapu te Oranga o ia tangata: Every Life Matters: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019–2029 and Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2019–2024 for Aotearoa New Zealand was released on World Suicide Prevention Day. Every Life Matters will build on existing work and will enhance the approach to suicide prevention to ensure we achieve a better future for all people in Aotearoa.
The strategy is significant to Māori given our losses to suicide, and it purposely promotes a strong Māori essence throughout the strategy.
Ka kitea te pae tawhiti, kia mau ki te ora
See the broad horizon, hold on to life
Please read the strategy and action plan
The aspirations in the strategy include:
- A Suicide Prevention Office to provide leadership and stewardship for suicide prevention and postvention activities
- Working alongside Māori to enable and support effective Māori leadership of suicide prevention
- Amplifying the voices of those with lived experience of suicidal distress and suicide bereavement in collaboration and co-design opportunities
- Working together, with collective ownership and responsibilities clearly indicated across government, the suicide prevention sector and communities
- Embedding approaches that acknowledge the impact of adverse childhood events and trauma on the wellbeing on individuals, whānau and families, and communities
- Undertaking comprehensive research to make sure we have access to the data, information and research we need to fully understand and respond to suicidal distress and behaviour
- Focusing on specific population groups and recognising that different people with different levels of advantage require different approaches and resources to achieve equitable health outcomes
- Moving from a largely mental-health service-based response to enabling communities to nurture and support their whānau and families and community members when they are experiencing suicidal distress
- Acknowledging the impact of suicide on individuals, whānau and families, and communities and better supporting people bereaved by suicide.