Turamarama Declaration: A Global & Indigenous Response to Suicide Prevention
World Suicide Prevention Day is an important reminder of the global effort to prevent the loss of life through Suicide. This is best reflected through the development of Tumararama – a global declaration to support Indigenous lead responses to the prevention of Suicide.
In 2016, the very first World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference was hosted by Te Runanga O Ngati Pikiao Trust in Rotorua. Included among the 550 participants in the World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference and the Youth Summit were indigenous peoples from Canada, USA, Australia, the Pacific nations, and Māori from Aotearoa. They included leaders from indigenous communities, youth, elders, families bereaved by suicide, indigenous health and social service practitioners, and government organisations.
During the conference a presentation on Mauri Ora was delivered (Durie, 2016). It included comment on Māori cultural understandings of wellbeing (flourishing) and lack of wellbeing (languishing). The presentation concluded with a 14-point statement for suicide prevention and conference participants were invited to endorse it as a shared Declaration for the prevention of indigenous suicide.
The purpose of the Turamarama Declaration was to bring together the several threads and recommendations discussed at the conference and to create an opportunity for participants to demonstrate unity and collectivity. Moreover, it was worded to enable maximum accessibility for all participants, including those in the Youth Summit.
By the end of the Conference 450 delegates had endorsed the Declaration and 220 representatives had signed on behalf of their respective organisations. The Declaration was then endorsed by the National Iwi Chairs Forum. Today, the Declaration has been embedded across 18 countries and is recognised through the Ministry of Health’s Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan.
We make special mention to Taa Mason Durie and Michael Naera who continue to promote Turamarama nationally & internationally.
The priorities within Turamarama have also been embedded into the Centre of Māori Suicide Prevention, hosted by Te Rau Ora.