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Coroner Invites Suicide Reporting Submissions

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Deb Williams co-founder of CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research has today recieved notification that her daughter's inquest will be conducted by the Chief Coroner and that she is invited to make submissions on restrictions on the reporting of suicide.

After addressing matters specific to Deb's daughter Cloudy's inquest, Whangarei Coroner Brandt Shortland writes "Lastly, I can advise, I have invited the Chief Coroner, Judge MacLean, to sit and hear this matter. I acknowledge your views about a more open system around suicide information. You will be familiar with the Chief Coroner's recent comments around the same issues. This is an opportunity to provide submissions on the issue."

Deb intends to take up this opportunity during the inquest in the Whangarei Disrict Court on 15 December 2010 at 10am. Copies of her submission will be made available to interested media and she will be available for comment at this time. A CASPER member who is a fluent speaker of Te Reo will also be available to provide comment on suicide reporting to Maori language media. While Deb is frustrated that the Coroner has refused requests to obtain some of Cloudy's medical records or to conduct relevant tests to determine whether Cloud was pregnant at the time of her death, she is pleased to be offered the opportunity to comment on the harm caused to families and the community by current restrictions on suicide reporting.

Deb's daughter Cloudy died on 29 January 2008 in an apparent suicide. She was 20 years old at the time of her death. The Chief Coroner's call for a review of restrictions on reporting suicide was made on 12 August 2010, the day of Cloudy's birthday. CASPER was launched the same day.

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