The Mental Health Foundation has made four submissions, in collaboration with other organisations, researchers and communities, after the Government asked for public feedback on its draft Suicide Prevention Strategy in April 2017.

The MHF’s submission outlines why the Government’s plan fails to present a strong, ambitious vision to tackle what it says could be New Zealand’s biggest public health issue. The MHF believes the way forward is through a focus on shared goals and accountability, and is calling for a national commitment to reduce the suicide rate by 20 percent over the next 10 years.

A collective submission from non-government organisations, healthcare providers and suicide prevention researchers, calls for a real commitment from the Government to listen to people affected by suicide and build on what is working.

The Suicide Bereavement Advisory Group, which has been advising the MHF’s work in suicide prevention and bereavement support for the last three years, made a submission outlining where the strategy needs to be strengthened for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. It asks the Government to listen and learn from people with experience of suicide loss, and calls for more support for friends and families after a suicide death.

A submission was signed and made by 19 Rainbow (sexuality, sex and gender diverse) groups and 65 individuals. They’re asking the Government to recognise the rainbow population as a priority, and provide more support by addressing discrimination, creating safer school environments and ensuring health and social services are welcoming.