Self Harm and Suicide is a major issue that is of real concern to all New Zealand communities.
The 2016- 2017 statistics of self harm and suicide increased to its highest figure since the measurement of these statistics. The Chief Coroner and the Ministry of Health release national self harm and suicide statistics each year to help inform suicide prevention efforts, practitioners, services, communities and initiatives undertaken by various agencies.
The prevention of suicide is both complex and challenging, and no single initiative or organisation can prevent suicide on its own. A comprehensive, multi-layered and coordinated approach is required across government and non-government organisations, and in partnership with the community.
IMPACTS UPON MĀORI
The rates of suicide among Māori are disproportionately higher than for any other ethnic group in New Zealand.
New Zealand has the highest rate of rangatahi (youth) suicide in the world.
The Youth suicide rate in New Zealand is one of the worst in the OECD. In the UNICEF Innocenti report (June, 2017) not only did UNICEF rank New Zealands overall performance at 34 out of 41 countries. New Zealand was also ranked at 38 out of 41 countries in the child relevant goal of: Good Health & Wellbeing category. In the same report New Zealand was stated as being “the worst in the world in regard to Youth Suicide” A rate of 15.6 youth suicides per 100,000 population. Placing New Zealand at the bottom of the table:
SOLUTIONS ARE WITHIN MAORI COMMUNITIES
While the causes of suicide are many and complex, it is clear that a collective effort is required to reduce all suicide rates in New Zealand as well insist on a targeted approach that is culturally and generationally appropriate.
Māori Suicide Prevention and Interventions are showing promising outcomes, by identifying whanau and community champions, being action oriented to make a difference, building trust, confidence and capabilities in communities that is encouraging locally led prevention, intervention and postvention initiatives tailored to our communities.
Common features have included:
- An alignment to the values and orientation of Māori
- Collaborative partnerships to increase the reach across whānau and communities
- Culturally tailored methods of delivery to reduce feelings of hopelessness, increase protective behaviours, reduce the stigma of asking for help and strengthen individuals and whānau.
- Suicide Prevention is about action, intervention and strategies that take into account Māori historical context, social networks, culture, whānau and community resources.
This website holds a range of evidence of who is available in your community that has invested in the fight against suicide in Māori communities, and a glimpse of the outcomes thus far. If you are wanting more information whether about making a difference in your community or increasing your understanding please contact: Tio Sewell Kaiwhakahaere: Waka Hourua.