16 Jun 2014

Resource to prevent suicide launched

7:10 pm on 16 June 2014

The Mental Health Foundation has developed a new resource to help whanau prevent suicide.

The foundation has launched a guide, Tihei Mauri Ora, which includes warning signs and ways to support friends and whanau struggling with suicidal thoughts.

About 500 people in New Zealand take their own lives each year, with the 2011 rate for Maori suicide 1.8 times that of Pakeha.

Foundation Maori spokesperson Witi Ashby said suicide was devastating for whanau and had a ripple effect through the community, hapu and iwi.

There were not many resources to help Maori prevent suicide, and he hoped the compact, easy-to-read Tihei Mauri Ora would help.

It will be made available at Maori services and health providers.