6 Apr 2024

Ministry of Health apologises for confusion over Suicide Prevention Office's future

8:04 pm on 6 April 2024
National MP Matt Moocey

Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The Ministry of Health said it did not sufficiently brief the Minister of Mental Health on their restructuring plans and is committed to working on suicide prevention.

RNZ understands the ministry is proposing to cut 134 jobs to meet the government's demands to reduce costs.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) released a press release on Thursday that claimed this also included shutting the Suicide Prevention Office.

Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey has since stepped in and told the Director-General of Health he expected the office to stay open.

In a statement released this evening, Deputy Director General, Clinical Community and Mental Health, Robyn Shearer said the minister has stated his expectation that the Suicide Prevention Office remains open.

"As a result, we are developing options to work through with the minister early next week."

Shearer said they acknowledge they did not sufficiently brief the Minister of Mental Health on their change proposals.

"The ministry is sorry for the confusion that this has caused.

"Mental health, addiction and suicide prevention are health system priorities."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs