Every Life Matters: He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata

Sep 20, 2019

The Government recently released their Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019–2029 (Every Life Matters) and Action Plan 2019–2024, which focuses on promoting wellbeing, responding to suicidal distress and behaviour, supporting individuals, whānau and communities after a suicide.

Every Life Matters – He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019–2029 and Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2019–2024 for Aotearoa New Zealand (Every Life Matters) describes what we aim to achieve for suicide prevention over the next 10 years. The framework consists of:

  • a vision, setting the long-term aspiration for the strategy and suicide prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • outcomes sought through the strategy to support the vision
  • focus areas, which describe actions needed to support the vision
  • collective ownership and shared ways of working that must underpin delivery of the vision.

Specific actions that will be undertaken to deliver on the strategy are outlined in the accompanying action plan.  The Government have intentionally not included targets within this plan.

The Government also announced that they intend to set up a Suicide Prevention Office to address New Zealand's historically high rate of suicide.  This is a pleasing result following the recent  release of the provisional suicide statistics last month, which showed 685 people dying in the year to July.


Other key features identified by reporter Colette Devlin include:

  • moving from a largely mental health service-based response to a community based approach and supporting people bereaved by suicide
  • identify and address gaps in suicide prevention and post-vention information and progress a national research plan
  • review the coronial investigative process
  • implement a free national suicide bereaved counselling service
  • increase wellbeing support for children and young people in places of learning
  • work with Māori and people with lived experience of suicidal behaviours to develop national guidelines for managing suicide risk to be used within DHBs and NGOs.

Check out the plan here, or this summary by Collette Devlin (via Stuff), which includes an insightful commentary by Mike King.


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Intro Byline: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019-2029