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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/assessment-and-planning/assessments/specialist-topics/preventing-suicide-and-self-harm/towards-wellbeing-suicide-prevention-programme/
Printed: 24/04/2024
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Last updated: 05/10/2020

Towards Wellbeing suicide prevention programme

Towards Wellbeing provides advice to social workers who work with tamariki and rangatahi who may be suicidal (including thoughts/ideation/plans/suicide attempts and those who have died by suicide).

Upcoming changes for this guidance

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice approach

What Towards Wellbeing includes

Towards Wellbeing supports social workers by:

  • helping to assess and understand suicide risk based on known risk factors
  • helping to develop a responsive suicide risk management plan focusing on increasing current safety and protective factors, as well as reducing long-term risks
  • providing ongoing support and advice on the review of risk and protective factors for te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • sharing knowledge about mental health and suicide, including how to access resources
  • liaising with mental health services when needed
  • providing advice when planning to end our involvement with te tamaiti or rangatahi (case closure)
  • providing one-off consultations on managing suicide risk when te tamaiti or rangatahi is not on the Towards Wellbeing programme.

When we identify te tamariki or rangatahi has a suicide risk, we place a suicide alert on CYRAS. This ensures Towards Wellbeing access to CYRAS, including:

  • the Substances and Choices Scales, Kessler and Suicide (SKS) screens and suicide person characteristics to help identify which tamariki and rangatahi may be at risk
  • casenotes for te tamaiti or rangatahi on the programme to check for changes in risk levels or progress.

Towards Wellbeing also supports our practice by:

  • engaging with sites, regions and National Office when practice issues are identified
  • visiting sites to enhance use of Towards Wellbeing (by arrangement and subject to available resources)
  • delivering training to new social workers as part of the Oranga Tamariki Practice Curriculum training
  • delivering practice clinics when needed to build knowledge, confidence and practice depth in identifying and managing suicide risk
  • reporting to the Suicide Prevention Steering Committee to identify and understand trends, practices and performance against the contracted services.

Towards Wellbeing resources – Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa (CASA) website

When suicide risk is identified

Suicide risk tool – question prompt examples

SACs, Kessler and Suicide screens (SKS)

If you're worried someone may be suicidal – Ministry of Health website

Towards wellbeing: Responding to the needs of young people (PDF 1 MB)

About Towards Wellbeing

Towards Wellbeing is a risk assessment and monitoring service that supports social workers by providing timely access to specialist advice and support around identifying and managing suicide risk.

Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa delivers the programme and it’s funded by Oranga Tamariki.

Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa

Towards Wellbeing help desk

Towards Wellbeing has a help desk for referrals and consultations during office hours. When a social worker contacts the help desk, we can expect a response from Towards Wellbeing within 1 to 2 hours.

The help desk triages and determines if tamariki or rangatahi:

  • can be managed by the social worker
  • need a Towards Wellbeing clinical advisor
  • require weekly, fortnightly or monthly monitoring by Towards Wellbeing.