A guide for having safe, open, honest and compassionate kōrero about suicide with taiohi/young people.

Taiohi/young people know suicide is a big issue in Aotearoa, and they know that it affects all of us in some way. They may come across it through the media; they may know someone who has died by suicide or be supporting a friend who is feeling suicidal. They may have had thoughts of suicide themselves.

Although it can feel hard to kōrero/talk about the tough stuff, it’s important that we can all have safe, open, honest and compassionate kōrero about suicide so our taiohi feel heard, supported and understood.

This resource is for parents, caregivers, teachers, counsellors, aunties, uncles, friends and other whānau members. It’s for anyone who cares about taiohi and needs tautoko/support and guidance to kōrero with them about suicide. Read through the sections below, and see our Useful Resources page for additional information. 

If you are concerned that taiohi in your life may be having thoughts of suicide right now, this resource will not be useful to you. Instead visit our Worried about someone webpage for more information. 

Text image

07 Korero orig

If someone you care about is in crisis:

  • Call your local mental health crisis assessment team or go with the person to the emergency department (ED) at your nearest hospital.
  • If they are in immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111 and stay with them until support arrives.
  • Remove any obvious means of suicide they might use, e.g., guns, medication, car keys, knives, rope.
  • Try to stay calm and let the person know you care.
  • Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.
  • Make sure you are safe.

If someone needs some extra support to help them through a tough time, or if you are seeking support because you are supporting someone else:

  • Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354 or 09 522 2999 or free text 4357 (HELP).
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 or free text 234.
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666.
  • Tautoko 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
  • Kidsline 0800 54 37 54.