The Law Commission will this week present its review of the rules governing the media's reporting of individual suicide deaths.
Last year, the commission was asked to look at whether the legal restrictions on media need to be clarified and if relaxing them might help prevent suicides.
The media cannot identify the victims or means of suicides occurring within New Zealand until a coroner's inquest has made a finding.
Chief Coroner Judge Neil McLean says some of the reporting around the recent death of celebrity Charlotte Dawson was problematic, though it was outside the jurisdiction of New Zealand laws.
"Two years ago, people would have said 'you give that level of publicity to a high-profile suicide, and you'll kick in this Marilyn Monroe syndrome'.
"Well, that hasn't happened. In fact, (the number of suicides) last month, which was the Charlotte Dawson month, was the lowest month in seven years."
Community mental health care needed
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says some of the reporting about Ms Dawson's death was overly simplistic and unhelpful.
She says for the country's suicide rate to come down, more needs to be done to encourage mental health care in the community. Ms Clements says the healthcare system needs to be far more outward looking, and available close to where people live.
She says while New Zealand led the world with the 'Like Minds, like Mine' campaign, the high suicide rate for young Maori is shameful.
"It's a great thing that the Government has invested a lot more money into programmes for Maori and Pacific suicide prevention."
"So they're just at the beginning of their work, but I'm sure they are beginning to work in a different way, because it has to be about working with those communities, working with whanau, with community, and seeing what they know will make a difference, rather than professional people that work in the system saying 'we think we're doing that because evidence from overseas shows this'".
Ability to access services vital
Another person encouraging health professionals to work in a different way is Kirsten Smith, who manages Evolve Youth health service in Wellington.
She says mental health services are there, but can be difficult to access if people don't know where to go or what to say. Ms Smith says her service sits between traditional primary and specialist care.
"Because our doctors and nurses are so experienced in youth mental health, they are actually the experts", she says.
"So in many cases even though we are a technically a primary service, we're that first point of contact, and where other primary services would refer to those specialists, actually it's our clinicians that have specialist knowledge … and because the specialist services are so busy, if they know that a young person is going to be taken care of, and we can manage, then they are pushing us to the limits of our scope."
Kirsten Smith says because the service deals with very vulnerable people, it takes an active approach to care.
"So nurses or youth workers will be constantly making a call or sending a text saying 'hey, how are you going this week?' that kind of stuff. Or a youth worker will be saying 'hey let's go out for a coffee'. Just that really every day kind of checking, making sure people are okay and safe."
Technology used to increase wellbeing
Lifehack, a project in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development, is looking to take that kind of technology a step further. It works with young people to use technology to increase wellbeing.
The group's Sam Rye says despite concerns about bullying on social media, the technology is "agnostic".
"The technology itself is not the cause of these problems, technology is an enabler for good and bad. So, it's really about the content that we're putting into it. And that speaks to the role of the conversation around mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand and understanding how we're using technology and what we're using it for."
Expanding the use of technology is seen as a way to connect those in need with the services that are available and those involved in the sector consider this an essential area to develop for the future.
Anyone wanting help or advice on this issue can find contacts at Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand