15 May 2017

Suicide prevention plan 'deeply flawed' - Mike King

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:23 pm on 15 May 2017

High-profile mental health advocate Mike King has resigned from the government's suicide prevention panel, saying a draft prevention plan is "deeply flawed".

Mike King

Mike King Photo: supplied

Mr King was appointed to the New Zealand Suicide Prevention External Advisory Panel two years ago but announced today he was stepping down, after the Ministry of Health released the plan (PDF, 566KB) last month.

The 10-year plan outlines the ministry's strategy to decrease the number of people who commit suicide each year - currently more than 500.

Mr King told Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan the draft plan did not have any specific targets.

"The Ministry of Health could have saved themselves a lot of money by going to the last 10-year plan and copying and pasting everything from that into the new one," he said.

"Our goal was to put out a target for reducing suicide... The draft plan turns up in my mail box and it is just some politically correct nonsense."

The new plan covered all of the bases, but promised no results, he said.

"I have no faith that any of it will be enacted... There is nothing fresh, new, or exciting."

The ministry said it released the draft strategy just over a month ago and was still consulting over it.

Its director of mental health, Dr John Crawshaw, thanked Mr King for his passion and commitment.

The plan is open for consultation on the Ministry of Health's website until 12 June.


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