We have the highest rate of youth suicide in the “developed” world. The Nats just cut the funding to Lifeline – Government axes $800,000 Lifeline contract
In March this year, the Ministry of Health axed a decade-long $800,000 contract for Lifeline to provide suicide-prevention training to frontline workers.
The funding cut, which was revealed to the Herald through documents provided to Labour under the Official Information Act, “devastated” Lifeline – an organisation that has worked to prevent suicide in New Zealand for more than 50 years.
The funding was shifted to a “new preferred supplier” after several contractors pitched for the work last November, a ministry official said.
News of the terminated Lifeline contract comes just days after an international expert told an Auckland conference of mental health workers – and ministry officials – that training, particularly the programme run by Lifeline, was one of the most important suicide-prevention strategies worldwide.
In the Herald today – PM’s wife on board of organisation that won million-dollar suicide prevention contract
An organisation that recently won a million-dollar government contract has dismissed speculation that the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife on the board was a factor.
It may be completely innocent as all the interested parties claim. But it’s not a good look to be destroying Lifeline, an organisation doing world class work in an area of desperate need. You don’t easily replace that experience.