21 Oct 2011

Health group trains suicide prevention workers

6:27 am on 21 October 2011

An organisation set up to boost the number of Maori in the health workforce has developed its own private training establishment - and is educating suicide prevention specialists.

Te Rau Matatini says the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has approved its applications for two programmes initially - Parahia Te Ara Maori Health promotion, and Te Whakauruora Maori Suicide Prevention.

Director Nicola Ehua says training is given in communities to help them become better equipped to support people at risk from suicide.

She says it's hoped the programme will lead to graduates taking up roles that have influence in communities.

The could go on to working with council mayors, church leaders, kaumatua - and have some influence in how the community is structured to support those who are most vulnerable.

Ms Ehua says suicide prevention is a high priority of the Government.