National services and initiatives contributing to preventing suicide

The following links to key services, initiatives and organisations contributing to preventing suicide.

National suicide prevention training programme

Le Va, a national health provider based in Auckland has been funded by the Ministry of Health to design and deliver a new National Suicide Prevention Training Programme for New Zealand.

The aim of the programme is to create a sustainable supportive environment/safety net for those at risk of suicide by increasing the number of people aged 18 years and over who:

  • are able to identify and support individuals at risk of suicide in their communities and
  • refer them to agencies and services that can help.

The programme will increase participants’ understanding of suicide risk factors in New Zealand, help them identify signs that an individual may be at risk of suicide and teach them the skills to intervene safely and constructively.

The programme will be New Zealand’s first home-grown national suicide prevention programme for all New Zealanders, targeted towards community members.

It will build upon best practice, ensuring that it is quality assured, clinically safe and culturally relevant.

The programme is currently being designed and will be rolled out in mid to late 2017.

Common Ground for young people, whānau and friends
An online resource for family, whānau and friends to help our young people enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing.

Community Postvention Response Service (CPRS)
When requested, CPRS provides support to communities when there is concern about suicide contagion or a suicide cluster. CPRS provides consultation and clinical advice to communities to support their local response to reduce suicide risk and address community concerns. This is known as suicide postvention. You can find out more about CPRS in their information sheet (PDF, 180 KB).

District health board-led activities
DHBs have responsibility for:

  • developing and implementing district-wide suicide prevention and postvention plans.
  • improving the responsiveness of primary health care and general practice to people with depression and other mild to moderate mental health and addiction issues. This is a key contributor to enhancing protective factors and reducing risk factors for suicide. Best practice guidelines have been developed, and increased access to primary mental health interventions is available through primary care including extended consultations, psychological and psychosocial interventions such as talking therapies. For more information visit the primary mental health page.
  • providing specialist mental health and addiction services (see Rising to the Challenge)
  • providing assessment, treatment and follow-up of people presenting to emergency departments with suicidal behaviour
  • providing public health and mental health promotion services.

A Suicide Prevention Toolkit for District Health Boards has been developed to support their role in suicide prevention.

Preventing suicide: Guidance for emergency departments has been developed to improve the quality of care for people who present to emergency departments as being at risk of suicide.

Kia Piki te Ora – Māori communities
Addressing suicidal behaviour in Māori communities through nine Kia Piki te Ora community development initiatives in the following districts: Northland (2 locations), Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Christchurch and Invercargill.

Like Minds, Like Mine
A national campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of mental illness.

Mental health and awareness literacy training
A 1-day mental health learning programme which aims to give frontline workers in the health and social sector greater confidence to recognise, relate and respond to people experiencing mental illness.

Mental Health Foundation
Working towards creating a society free from discrimination, where all people enjoy positive mental health and well-being. Mental Health Foundation provides a range of consumer-oriented resources on suicide prevention and broader mental health issues including:

  • practical information on suicide prevention for family and whānau
  • advice and guidance for people setting up peer support groups for people bereaved by suicide
  • monitoring media reporting on suicide and advising media on safe reporting practice: Reporting Suicide: A resource for the Media
  • access to national and international suicide prevention research through the Foundation’s Information Service

National Depression Initiative
A national initiative to help increase community understanding about depression and encourage help-seeking, appropriate treatment and recovery – the National Depression Initiative includes:

  • – Online information for people experiencing signs of depression, and their families and friends
  • The Journal – an online self-help programme which can be accessed through
  • Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
  • the Depression helpline  – 0800 111 757
  • – focusing on rural and farming populations
  • – a youth-specific website to help young people understand and deal with depression, which includes online support services.

QPR New Zealand On-line Suicide Prevention Training
QPR (Question Persuade Refer) New Zealand delivers a range of online and face-to-face training on suicide prevention for front-line staff and community members.

Support and resources for children and adults experiencing change, loss and grief, including:

  • Travellers – a resilience-building programme for school students supporting them to navigate through change, loss and transition
  • Waves – an 8-week specialist-facilitated grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide established by Skylight.

A self-help e-therapy tool that teaches young people the key skills needed to help combat depression and anxiety.

Support helplines
A range of telephone helplines and online services are available to provide support, information and help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui
A national service supporting the development of the mental health, addiction and disability workforces in New Zealand through research, resources and training. Te Pou managed the Suicide Prevention Research Fund which funded 10 research projects to improve the evidence base on suicide prevention.

Suicide prevention programme for Tongan youth. A programme developed and delivered by the Toko Collaboration Group working primarily with Tongan communities in Auckland, engaging with youth, families and church denominations.

Traumatic incident management support for schools and ECE services
The Ministry of Education provides guidelines for the management of traumatic incidents within schools and early childhood services.

Victim Support
Providing emotional support, personal advocacy and information to all people affected by crime and trauma throughout New Zealand. Victim Support provides a specialised service for people bereaved by suicide – the Initial Postvention Response Service.

Waka Hourua
Supporting and coordinating suicide prevention in Māori and Pasifika communities, Waka Hourua is a partnership between Te Rau Matatini and La Va to deliver the National Suicide Prevention Programme for Maori and Pasifika.

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