Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Suicide report shines light on bereaved families

The Suicide Prevention Office, within the Ministry of Health, has released the report Shining a light on whānau experiences of Coroners’ investigations of suspected self-inflicted deaths.

The independent review of the coronial process provided opportunities for whānau and communities to have their say on a future system that recognises the impact of suicide and supports healing.

The review process was co-designed with whānau bereaved by suicide and sector stakeholders.

The report describes 18 recommended changes to current investigative processes for suspected self-inflicted deaths, which include improvements and enhancements to existing investigative processes, as well as changes to systems and processes.

“It reflects the views and perspectives of the review’s Design Group comprised of whānau bereaved by suicide. It is independent of the Ministry of Health and wider government, and the recommendations understandably do not take into account constitutional arrangements or legislative frameworks,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“The Ministry of Health is aware from its work with the Ministry of Justice that its existing Coronial Work Programme is already addressing elements of the recommendations, and they are taking steps to improve how they support the coronial investigation process.

“The Ministry understands that a number of recommendations may also be considered by the Chief Coroner – who is constitutionally separate and operates independently from the Ministry of Justice.

“The many agencies involved agree that getting the coronial process right for bereaved whānau is important – and this means taking time to consider these recommendations to form the way forward,” it said.

Read the report:

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