Need extra help for Māori suicide risk



MARIA BAKER INTERVIEW

An advocate for the health of Māori wants more funds to be used for Māori suicide prevention programs.

Statistics for the year to June show an increase of 12 percent in the male suicide rate of Māori and an increase in the number of suicides in general.

Rau Matatini chief executive Maria Baker says that the trauma of colonialism and expropriation is a factor.

This also applies to standard risk factors that affect a disproportionate number of Maori's, such as poor housing, lack of access to good education, good work and income. . . which also gives directions for what needs to be done.

"If we have really good whakawhānaunga, we have very good relationships, we have good connections, a place of existence, we feel good, that kind of protective factors can really cover the negative kind of spaces and the impact of a number of the environments in which we live, "says Baker.

Many positive programs have been developed at community level, but they are financed and implemented in patchy and inconsistent ways.

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