12 Sep 2007

NZ launches new resource to fight suicide among Samoans

2:38 pm on 12 September 2007

A new suicide prevention resource for people working with Samoans in New Zealand has been launched by Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand , a service of the Mental Health Foundation.

The resource called Paolo is in Samoan and English.

Pacific people have higher rates of thinking seriously about suicide than other ethnicities apart from Maori who have the highest rate.

Also, New Zealand-born Pacific people have higher rates of previous attempts and suicidal thoughts than Pacific people who migrated at the age of 18 and over.

The manager of the project, David Lui, says suicide and mental illness can be an issue for the Samoan community.

"It also was very evident in our consultation from the Community that you know overall, suicide is something that is very preventable and yet so many of our people are lost to suicide, and the answers could be things are very simple is that removing some of the barriers that cause communication breakdown and the cultural gap."

David Lui says the booklet may be translated into other Pacific languages.