Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton said that the Government's suicide prevention program would cover people in all age groups.
New Zealand has a very high youth suicide rate and hence priority was given to bring down youth suicide rates. According to the statistics 80 % of the 515 victims in 2003 were aged 25 or older. Suicide rates among men aged 80-84 were the highest. The 10-year plan of suicide prevention program for all has seven goals. They are reducing the access mode of suicide attempts, improved care for mental health patients, and better help for those who have survived suicide attempts.
Maria Cotter the health Ministry adviser also said that it is also necessary to step up other initiatives like new procedures in hospital to tackle self-harm cases and also planning and designing safer urban neighborhoods. Canterbury Suicide Project leader and associate professor Annette Beautrais said that the youth male suicide rate have halved considerably over a period of time. Slowly news media organizations, some coroners and families of suicide victims have come out and are participating in a more open discussion about the issue. But Mr Anderton said that new reporting guidelines are to be evolved in the near future.