Taranaki working together to help prevent suicide

5 October 2015

Taranaki agencies and Government organisations are working together to prevent suicide and have developed a Suicide Prevention and Postvention Action Plan to reduce suicide and the impact it has on our community.

Dr Sharat Shetty, Taranaki DHB’s Clinical Director of Mental Health and Addictions said, “Reducing suicide in Taranaki is a high priority for all of the groups involved in the Action Plan; it treats suicide as a community wide issue requiring a whole of community response.”

Keith Borrell, Area Commander, Police said, “Between January 2014 and April 2015 Police attended 518 suicide attempts in Taranaki, with an average of 16 completed suicides per year since 2007. Between 2012 and 2015 Taranaki Hospitals admitted 370 people for a total of 809 self-harm incidents. These are alarming statistics that we need to address.”

The Suicide Action Plan aligns with the Government’s national approach to suicide prevention and supports the work already happening around suicide in Taranaki. The plan will help to increase the awareness of suicide, it will strengthen relationships, systems and processes between agency services and the community to ensure anyone who has been affected by suicide or self-harm knows how to access the right help and support.

Dr Shetty said, “In collaboration with our key partners, we want to provide an integrated service for people in Taranaki suffering from mental illness. The key areas for action are to provide care closer to home, make services more accessible, promoting wellness and multidisciplinary treatments which strengthen and promote resilience and flourishing lives.”

A leadership group has been created to implement the Action Plan with a number of priorities over the next two years, including, appointing a dedicated suicide prevention and postvention coordinator, improving collection, sharing and analysis of data across agencies and organisations, and supporting agencies and community groups to design their own solutions.

Fi Perez, Chair Suicide Prevention Taranaki commented,  “In my opinion, Taranaki’s plan focusses positively on intervention and postvention and shows real commitment to focusing on solutions rather than living with the problem.  It is a plan that has tangible milestones that ensures that professionals and agencies as well as our community can be held accountable and can work together to create a brighter future.

”The plan is tailor-made for its community and it is a living document with enough flexibility to ensure that we can meet changing needs as the plan progresses ,” added Ms Perez. 

Training will be provided for more professionals who work with at risk and vulnerable groups, as well as educating and training the community to understand and recognise the suicide signs and to know where to find and receive help. The leadership group will also work with communities to proactively promote mental health and well-being, and ways to prevent mental health problems.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and it’s important people understand the support is there if they need it.  If you are worried about yourself or someone else, seek help now,” said Dr Shetty.

For help contact:

  • In an emergency call 111
  • Taranaki DHB Mental health and Addictions Service 0508 277 478
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865
  • Touched by Suicide Support (06) 757 9300
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 / free text 234 or email talk@youthline.org.nz
  • If it’s urgent or out of hours, go to Base or Hawera Hospital Emergency Departments
  • Visit your GP Practice




For more information please call:
Cressida Gates
Media & Communications Manager
027 703 6177.


Last updated: Monday, October 5, 2015

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