Tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day – a day to recognise the part we all have in preventing suicide in Aotearoa, to remember those we have lost to suicide and support the loved ones they left behind.
This year, the global theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “one world connected” – a reminder to us that working together and supporting each other is key to preventing suicide.
“Making sure we connect with people is one of the most powerful ways to help people in distress,” Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive, Judi Clements, says.
“If you’re worried about a friend or family member, reach out to them and listen without judgement. Encourage them to get the support or help they need.
“Sometimes people just need someone to really hear them, and then they may be more willing to reach out for help from professionals such as a doctor or counsellor.”
It’s not just individuals who need to be ‘connected’ in preventing suicide, Ms Clements says.
“Every day, mental health and suicide prevention services, communities and government agencies across New Zealand work together to enact suicide prevention strategies.
“There is no room for complacency – suicide prevention is a high priority for New Zealand. By working together in a connected way, we can make a difference.”
Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its first global report on suicide prevention Preventing suicide: a global imperative. This report recommends strategies for working together globally and locally to make a difference. It also shows that New Zealand’s suicide rate has decreased by over 20% since 2000.
“It’s good to see that the WHO is working to call for global action on suicide prevention,” Ms Clements says. “We have opportunities every day to connect with those in need. There is still work to do, but a more connected Aotearoa is a great step toward preventing suicide in our communities,” Ms Clements says.
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About the Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation is a registered not-for-profit that works to create a society where all people flourish.
We provide suicide prevention information and resources to family and whānau who are concerned about the suicide risk of someone close to them such as a family or whānau member, friend, colleague, or personal contact. Our most recent is Tihei Mauri Ora – Supporting whānau through suicidal distress.
The MHF’s communications team works actively with media to support safe and responsible reporting about suicide and related issues.
Our new bereavement support service is being developed to provide specialised guidance and advice for people bereaved by suicide to support themselves and each other after a suicide in their community, through, for example, running peer support groups.
Note for media: When reporting on this story, please remember to include helplines. The helplines are:
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Depression Helpline (8 am to 12 midnight) – 0800 111 757
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / 04 472 3676 (for callers from all other regions)
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email email@example.com
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 KIDSLINE) – for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.
All helplines are 24/7 unless otherwise noted.