New resources to fight Māori male suicide

updated By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

The first ever Māori perspective resource booklet aimed at supporting whānau and regions to prevent suicide amongst Māori men has been launched.  Author Dr Jordan Witi says the resource is desperately needed, because of the over-representation of deaths by suicide of tāne Māori.

A much-needed tool is finally in the hands of those helping in the fight against Māori male suicide.

Author, Dr Jordon Waiti says, “There was a need for it from our Māori communities throughout the region. The large number of suicides that have been happening around the region.

Project leader, Kia Piki Te Ora Suicide Prevention Project Leader Michael Naera says, “There are no resources available to address suicide. So it's wonderful to receive this book, on how our Māori whānau, elders and adults can help.”

According to the latest 2016 Ministry of Health report Māori males had the highest rate of suicide in the country.

Naera says, “There's a stigma around men seeking medical help from doctors, talking to doctors and getting mental health assistance.  Some take on the staunch male persona.”

Last year Dr Waiti began Te Pātūtū Oranga - Successful initiatives to suicide prevention amongst Tāne Māori, and has devised Whakaoranga Whānau, to assist whanau with protective factors to eliminate the risk of suicide, under Relationships, Skills and Abilities, Tīkanga and Cultural Identity.

Dr Waiti says, “Even humours a big one amongst Māori that I've found.  You know having a look at the brighter side of negative situations.  If you look around tikanga it's around spirituality, taha Māori as well te taha wairua.  And positivity as a belief.  Being able to look at the positive side of negative aspects.”

An electronic launch of Te Pātūtū Oranga through the Waka Hourua (national Māori and Pasifika suicide prevention programme) website and Facebook is also available.

If you or anyone in you know is need of assistance please visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz or contact any of the organisations listed below.

National helplines

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666