Putting Suicide Prevention First

Dec. 2, 2020, 4:55 p.m.

Warning: This story deals with the topic of suicide

With Aotearoa having some of the highest rates of suicide in the world and Māori at 20% of the statistics in last years annual mental health report, it’s important for whānau to learn how to recognise behaviours and ways to support those struggling with mental wellbeing.

Shaness Parkinson, Kia Piki Te Ora Suicide Prevention Kaimahi says there are many reasons people choose to take their lives and often the signs aren’t obvious.

“We have a lot of social issues where we are not at the top of the priority list and living beyond our means.  There's a lot of family violence, generational abuse, reliance on the welfare system and our whānau haven't been taught the right way to manaaki one another.”

Parkinson says listening is one of the most important things whanau can do without judgement.

“A hard one for our parents to understand is that they would prefer to talk to their own peers.  I encourage our rangatahi to talk to a trusted adult and I encourage our parents to not be unhappy they have not come to you.”

“A lot of our whanau have self healing in themselves which is through waiata, karakia, going for a walk.  Use those positive affirmations of “I am a great person, I am worthy enough, I am beautiful as I am” those are some of the main korero I encourage our whānau to use.”


1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825

Tags: Health & Wellbeing Suicide Prevention


Mana Whaikaha in a Māori World

On World Disability Day, we take a closer look at how the Māori community can be more inclusive of our whānau with disabilities
5 months, 2 weeks

First Responder Service Rebuild in Kaitaia

Red Cross NZ are looking to revive their Kaitaia Branch of volunteers
5 months, 1 week

Creating A Food Forest

Lissa Davies fulfilling her Grandmother's wish of living off the land.
5 months, 1 week

A Blessing in a Box

For 6 years Te Hau Āwhiowhio ō Otangarei Trust has been packing and delivering Christmas Box for families in Northland
5 months