18 Aug 2015

Sharing Pacific data will aid suicide prevention

9:47 am on 18 August 2015

A New Zealand based suicide prevention organisation says sharing information across countries will help reduce the rate of suicide.

The non government organisation, Le Va, has signed an agreement with Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku'aho of Tonga, to cooperate on suicide prevention measures in both countries.

The chief executive of Le Va, Monique Faleafa, says Tonga and other Pacific nations are part of a World Health Organisation program and have more accurate data on suicide compared to New Zealand.

Le Va Chief Executive Monique Faleafa

Le Va Chief Executive Monique Faleafa Photo: Le Va / Tongan High Commission, Canberra

But she says the funding to analyse that data is inconsistent and Le Va can help interpret it to produce suicide prevention strategies that work in both New Zealand and Tonga.

"When there's a death by suicide in one country there's a huge ripple effect in both countries with our collective communities, so we think that suicide prevention then needs to address both sides of the Pacific and needs to have a ripple effect in both countries."

Monique Feleafa says other Pacific countries have shown an interest in forming a similar partnership.

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