Suicide Prevention

Get help now

If someone has attempted suicide or you’re worried about their immediate safety, do the following:

Call your local mental health crisis assessment team or take them to the emergency department at your nearest hospital.

  • If they are an immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111.
  • Stay with them until support arrives.
  • Remove any obvious means of suicide (e.g. guns, medication, cars, knives, rope).
  • Try to stay calm and let them know you care.
  • Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.


Click here to download the Mental Health Foundation’s guide Are you worried someone is thinking of suicide? Advice for families, whanau and friends.

There are many telephone services if you or someone you know is in crisis.

  • Samaritans
    0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast)
    04 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
  • What’s Up
    0800 942 8787
    For 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pmKidsline0800 54 37 54 (0800 KIDSLINE)
    For children up to 14 years of age; 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays


The New Zealand situation

564 people committed suicide in New Zealand in the year from June 2014 to May 2015.

Click here for the report from the Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall. She said in a press statement:

“Over the last eight years I believe we’ve seen a shift in society’s preparedness to have a more open conversation about suicide, but we are not seeing any movement in what is an unfortunate static annual figure.”

Judge Marshall acknowledged the greater effort being put into suicide prevention, including the Ministry of Health’s recently launched suicide prevention toolkit for District Health Boards and the trial Suicide Mortality Review Committee.

“I am in my first year as Chief Coroner and in that time I have been approached by many researchers and organisations that want to participate in changing our appalling rate of suicide.

“Suicide prevention is not the job of any single agency or group, but involves all New Zealanders. Greater co-ordination of efforts may be the key,” Judge Marshall said.

“The aim of making these annual figures public is to give an up-to-date overview of what is a very important social issue.


For comparison, 294 people were killed on our roads in 2014.



The law on suicide

Section 179 of the Crimes Act makes it illegal to incite, counsel, procure, aid or abet any person to commit suicide.

It is a crime even if the person does not commit or attempt to commit suicide.

This applies to conversations, writing, texting and social media posts.

If you think you or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, you should call 111.

Netsafe provides information, advice and support for anyone subject to online abuse.