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Waka hourua findings released

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Evidence just released by the National Maori and Pasifika Suicide Prevention Programme Waka Hourua says suicide is a societal problem and not a mental health issue.

Waka Hourua is a three year investigation into suicide prevention and is being led by Te Rau Matatini and Pasifika Health Collective Le Va.

Maria Baker CEO of Te Rau Matatini says it's wrong to delegate suicide to the mental health sector and that the issue is broader than that.

"When we look at suicide it is not linked to pathology it is not linked to illness. It really represents a culturally recognised issue in terms of what's happening. It's an expression of a collective. It is not just about personal suffering. It is about how we are suffering as whanau hapu iwi," she says. .

Maria Baker says the collective grievance faced by whanau hapu and iwi is of historic land alienation, economic deprivation, reduced access to quality education impacts on the community as a whole reinforcing suicide as a whanau hapu iwi issue.

"However, if self harm and suicide is in light of the social issues and societal challenges then who and what is best to be best positioned to prevent it? it's our own people. It's better to be undertaken by the people who have the relationships in those places and have a real understanding of how we operate," says Te Rau Matatini CEO Maria Baker.



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