Young Kiwis claim suicide risk not taken seriously

A group of young Māori leaders are calling on the Government to do more on suicide prevention.

The group launched an online video about suicide which has already been viewed more than 88,000 times.

A member of the group, Te Mahara Swanson Hall, told Māori Television’s Kawekōrero Reporters programme tonight that too many were being turned away by the health system.

“The amount of people who I spoke to who said that the waiting lines to get proper health care were too long, that they were being turned away from clinics because the waiting list was three weeks and they couldn’t wait that time,” said Hall.

“I believe the Government should be putting more money, more funding, generating more awareness and putting into place a system that will really help our people.”

Hall called friends from around the country to make the video, including Te Rina West who also told Kawekōrero illnesses without physical symptoms were not treated with urgency and that wasn’t good enough.

 “These mental illnesses, these issues affect us just as much as any physical harm can and it actually leads to physical harm.”

The online video coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 and highlights the fact that 606 Kiwis have died of suicide in the last year.

If you or anyone you know needs to talk about a mental health issue, here are some numbers below:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865)