WDHB marks Mental Health Awareness Week with suicide advice

1 October 2015
If someone has thoughts or feelings about suicide, it's important to take them seriously, says Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) associate director of nursing for mental health services Jeff Hammond.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (5-11 October), Mr Hammond is putting the spotlight on suicide which he acknowledges is a subject many people find difficult to discuss.

“Given that we are losing precious young people to suicide in New Zealand, I think now is a good time for the Whanganui community to be open about the subject and to learn all we can, to enable us to help those who might be at risk,” Mr Hammond says.

“People who feel suicidal often feel they are alone and, in some circumstances, that they are a burden on their family, whānau and friends when these are often the very people who can help them find a way through their despair.”

Mr Hammond encourages people interested in gaining a better understanding of suicide to visit the Mental Health Foundation website at www.mentalhealth.org.nz, contact the services featured on the Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention (WASP) poster, or visit the Hot Link titled Emergency and After Hours Care on this website.  

“The Mental Health Foundation website provides excellent advice for the family and friends of a person who has attempted suicide or for those worried about the immediate safety of a friend or family member,” Mr Hammond says.

“I’m pleased to report that the WDHB is a member of a recently formed multi-agency group which is meeting weekly to discuss and respond to concerns raised by the families of vulnerable individuals in our community.
“We’re very fortunate to have a strong network of agencies in Whanganui that are well placed to provide help and/or advice about suicide,” Mr Hammond says
“The key messages we want to give the community is to focus on the five steps to wellbeing”:
  1. Connect, Me Whakawhanaunga
  2. Give, Tukua
  3. Take notice, Me aro tonu
  4. Keep Learning, Me ako tonu
  5. Be active, Me kori tonu
Mr Hammond suggests people explore:
www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/ways-to-wellbeing/ for those wanting wellbeing information.
www.commonground.org.nz for those concerned about young people.