25 Jul 2013

Whanau Ora should drive suicide prevention - advisor

10:02 am on 25 July 2013

Initiatives to help people at risk of suicide should be driven by Whanau Ora, a suicide prevention advisor says.

The latest Ministry of Health figures show 522 people died by suicide in 2010, including 104 Maori.

Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao suicide prevention project leader Michael Naera said it was working with iwi and hapu to tackle the suicide rate among Maori.

He says he and his colleague cover a large area, including Rotorua, Turangi, Taupo, Mangakino and Kaingaroa, focussing on areas of high risk.

Mr Naera believes prevention information could be more widely accessible if strategies could be delivered through Whanau Ora.

Whanau Ora helps an entire family rather than an individual, which Mr Naera believes is beneficial to whanau with concerns about suicide.