20 Feb 2013

Youth suicide prevention strategies outlined

6:39 am on 20 February 2013

A regional project leader with the National Maori Suicide Prevention Programme says there are two key strategies which Maori communities can use to help reduce the suicide rate of rangatahi, which is two-and-a-half times that of non-Maori youth.

Michael Naera, who took part in a Mental Health Foundation online seminar about involving whanau to help prevent Maori from taking their own lives, says protecting the mana of the individual and their wairua or spirituality, are very important.

He says communities should hold hui, talk openly about the issue of suicide and come up with strategies to deal with it.

Mr Naera who works with whanau in Bay of Plenty says that if the rate of suicide is to be reduced, there must be a connection between whanau.

In many cases, he says, no one is picking up the fact that a person is sick and contemplating harming themselves.