Dave Macpherson: Parents of Nicky Stevens call for stronger suicide reduction target than Inquiry suggests


The parents of Nicky Stevens, who was a suicide victim while in the ‘care’ of Waikato DHB’s mental health facility in 2015, have supported “much of the thrust” of the Government’s Mental Health Inquiry, but said they are “disappointed with the weak suicide prevention target”, a 20% reduction in current figures by 2030.

“While everyone recognises that the awful suicide statistics will be hard to turn around, it is vital that New Zealand aspires to a zero suicide target, which would be one sign of a truly healthy nation,” said Nicky’s mother Jane Stevens.

“Openly implying that an annual suicide rate of over 400 – worse than the road death toll – is acceptable, sends the wrong message,” she added.

Nicky’s father Dave Macpherson said his family was supportive of “much of the thrust of the rest of the report, with its call for better access to services and treatment, more staffing, and better programmes to tackle some of the underlying causes of mental health issues.”

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“What we now want is for mental health to no longer be a political football, and for all the Parliamentary parties to get their heads together around a mental health improvement programme that all of them will sign up to going into the future.”

“With potential changes of Government every six or nine years, this country can’t afford the sort of stop-start approach to the provision of mental health services we’ve had in the recent past,” he said.


Dave Macpherson is TDB’s mental health blogger. He became a Waikato DHB member after his son died from mental health incompetence.


  1. The crime syndicate government will say and do anything to give an appearance of boldly battling those symptoms, because they are the disease.

    This is like putting chickens on antibiotics because you locked them up in a stifling battery shed, causing illness.

    A dead giveaway is when they refer to causative elements as “risk factors” that enable “targeting” of susceptible individuals. No, the “risk factors” signify the presence of causative processes that have to be directly engaged with. This inquiry conceals and protects the ultimate causes, making it a farce.

    Just like the Mycoplasma Bovis farce in a way where they don’t even know where it came from, so what probability of preventing reinfection? Unknown. And also like the Tax Working Group, with the seriously impaired terms of reference, also useless, a whitewash, a joke, a bogus smoke screen load of crap!

    This is why I say things like “a crime syndicate is gaslighting you” again and again, folks. Because unfortunately it is extremely true. When those gas lights dim weirdly at suspicious moments you know, someone is up in the attic stealing. That is the core of Gaslight. You are the Ingrid Bergman! And until you wake up to this you are existing inside the bubble produced by their resilient and robust mental illness inflicting selves. Have another look at the gas lights… do they look oddly dim?

  2. Zero is unrealistic and unachievable, given the facts of H. sapiens on Planet Earth, and would carry the same weight as Bob Hawke’s “no child in poverty by the year 2000”.

    A real world figure is more likely to appeal, and to be seen as possible and worth pursuing, to those in the real world.

  3. It might help to start by understanding who is committing suicide and why.

    But that would require some intellectual effort, so let’s just wring our hands and create a ‘working group’

    • Mate, this takes the cake for toxic, boarderline malicious ignorance. Its not even worth trying to explain it to you how badly you just fucked up. Just take your hand of it and don’t comment on this.

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