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MANATlJ HAU RA
133 Molesworth Street
PO Box 5013
T +64 4 496 2000
9 December 2021
By email: fyi-request-17551-af39a229@req uests. fyi .org. nz
Tena koe Paul
Response to your request for official information
Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) to the Ministry of
Health (the Ministry) on 13 November 2021 for:
" .. . information on the number of people who have died in New Zealand by suicide or
suspected suicide over the past decade while in residential mental health care."
On 26 November 2021, you clarified 'residential health care' to mean:
"Instances of suicide or suspected suicide while the people resident, as in living in
residential facility either voluntarily or otherwise. My interest in the number of people who
manage to take their own lives while they are living in/are patients in mental health
facilities 24/7, that are staffed 24/7."
The Ministry has attempted to extract data from our databases to assist with your clarified
request, however our systems do not code data in a manner that fully answers your question.
The Programme for the Integration of Mental Health Data (PRIM HD) and the Ministry's Mortality
Collection are only able to provide information on whether a person committed suicide on the
same day they saw an inpatient mental health team. Due to the way the data is structured, it is
not possible to state whether the death occurred during the event or after they saw the team.
Producing the information in its requested form would require the Ministry to manually cross
reference and link existing data sets and doing so would also involve substantial collation. The
Ministry would therefore consider refusing under section 18(f) and section 18(g) of the Act. As
the Ministry does not wish to refuse your request outright, we have provided information which
closely relates to the information you have requested.
Between 2009 and 2018, there were 49 deaths due to suicide or of undetermined intent where
the deceased saw an inpatient mental health team on the day of death. We are only able to
provide this up to 2018, as it can take some years for Coroners to confirm whether the death
was due to suicide or of undetermined intent. This data only covers people aged 10 to 64 at the
time of the event.
The Office of the Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services' (ODMHAS) annual reports
provide information on adverse events, including those reported by the Health Quality and
Safety Commission (HQSC) and those that are mandatory to report under section 132 of the