Media release: Hope, help and healing: suicide prevention effort targets Pasifika communities
Suicide is a ‘whole of society’ problem and we all need to be involved, from government agencies to employers, friends and families. Everyone has a role to play in fostering emotional resilience so people can cope with challenges in healthier ways.
– Leilani Clarke
Raising awareness, breaking down stigma, increasing connection and responding compassionately can save lives. Evidence suggests that local grassroots projects like those supported by Le Va’s Pasifika Suicide Prevention Community Fund play an important role in helping to prevent suicide.
As a longstanding advocate for Pasifika, Le Va is honoured to once again be selected by the Ministry of Health Suicide Prevention Commissioning Office to administer part of a $3.1 million community fund which supports communities to create innovative solutions to prevent suicide.
Le Va senior manager for suicide prevention, Leilani Clarke said, “suicide is a ‘whole of society’ problem and we all need to be involved, from government agencies to employers, friends and families. Everyone has a role to play in fostering emotional resilience so people can cope with challenges in healthier ways.”
“The grassroots work of our communities addresses the loss of life due to suicide by delivering innovative prevention programmes that enhance community connectedness. Reaching out to individuals is a critical first step towards an authentic conversation and connection that saves lives.”
The Le Va Pasifika Suicide Prevention Community Fund initiative uses a strengths-based approach to enhance existing programmes and tap into the resiliency and relationships in Pasifika families and communities. The initiative has a particular focus on Pasifika in New Zealand’s rural, men, rainbow and youth communities, as well as people with lived experience of suicidal behaviour.
The Community Fund seeks to support Pasifika communities to effectively implement community-based suicide prevention initiatives so that families and communities are:
• strongly connected
• equipped with the skills to cope with distress
• actively building resilience and reducing the risks of suicide
• assisted in accessing support services and
• supported to build a strong cultural identity to enhance mental wellbeing
The Suicide Prevention Office has awarded funding of three annual rounds for the Māori and Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Funds. Administered by Te Rau Ora and Le Va, respectively, these funds go to community initiatives that support these communities.
Applications for the Le Va Suicide Prevention Community Fund will close 6 May 2022.
For more information, and to apply for funding, visit www.leva.co.nz/suicide-prevention-fund
Le Va is New Zealand’s leading not-for-profit Pasifika organisation whose work spans mental health, suicide prevention, addictions, violence prevention, public health, disability support services and cultural competency.
We welcome media interviews, please contact
Suzanne Gaier 027 248 4056