Whether you’ve been running a group for some time or have just considered setting one up – this page is for you. This site has been developed for support groups for suicide loss with input from people across New Zealand who are currently running peer support groups.

This information is a condensed version created from our Support groups for suicide loss: a handbook for Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides advice and guidance about how to set up a suicide bereavement peer support group. That is, a support group for people who have lost someone to suicide: a family or whānau member, friend or someone else they knew.

This information is not meant to offer rules but to give guidance and suggestions, as well as sharing experiences from others who have run groups. This material can be adapted for different communities and cultures. 

For more in-depth information, please go to the handbook. The handbook is free to download and print, and if you would like a print copy please get in touch with Virginia Brooks to request one.

If you have any questions or concerns about the information in this section, please contact:

Virginia Brooks
Mental Health Foundation’s Suicide Bereavement Service Coordinator
09 623 4810


We would like to know how we‘re doing – did our service meet your needs and was the information you received helpful? Is there anything we could do better? We welcome your feedback and invite you to take our quick survey.


The pōhutukawa rākau

The pōhutukawa tree grows mostly around the coastal areas of New Zealand. In the warmer climates, like those of the Tai Tokerau, these trees survive the most brutal forces Mother Nature has to offer, from Tangaroa through to Tāwhirimātea. Yet this tree stands fast and flourishes with its radiant crimson colours for all to see – beautiful but strong, a guiding light and a marker for those that are lost to find their way home.

This is our whakaaro for choosing the pōhutukawa rākau – it reminds us of our whānau who have lost loved ones through suicide. They have been battered – spiritually, mentally and physically. Through that, they have become strong and committed. In supporting each other, they come together to radiate positive kōrero, to flourish and to be a landmark for others that are lost and wanting to find answers.
– Witi Ashby, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi.