Suicide Bereaved to meet with Mental Health Inquiry panel
Suicide Bereaved whanau/families from around the country will gather in Auckland tomorrow to meet with the Mental Health
Inquiry Panel. Jane Stevens whose son Nicky Stevens died while in the care of mental health services says “she has high
expectations of the mental Health inquiry”.
“We desperately need a complete overhaul of the way we support people experiencing mental health issues and their
whanau/families. She says. “We need to put serious resource into providing the services urgently needed in our
communities and we need a whole culture shift in the way we deliver mental health. That includes providing support way
before people get to the edge of the cliff, breaking down the stigma and silencing about mental health and putting much
more resourcing into making our communities and families strong and resilient.”
Jane Stevens said that “Many of our suicide bereaved families were active in calling for the mental Health Inquiry, we
are desperate for change, we have lost loved ones to the scourge of suicide and while we can’t bring them back, we want
their experiences to contribute to preventing further tragedies happening.”
She added that “We also want to see better support for whanau/families who have lost family members, a zero suicide
target, an overhaul of the coronial system, an independent watch dog that deals with serious events rather than DHBS
themselves. Better resourcing of mental health services and safer staffing levels, Better training of mental health
staff and police in working with service users and families.
We expect the government to act quickly to implement the recommended changes. It is a matter of life and death,
something our suicide bereaved whanau/families know only too well.