Lights shine for families affected by suicide
Mountain tops both across New Zealand were lit up on September 3 in solidarity with those who had been affected by a loved one’s suicide.
About 500 people take their own lives in New Zealand every year.
The Lights for Lives event was organised as a message of hope for families struggling to cope.
People were asked to bring their phone, torch or head lamp and shine lights from 5am to 5.30am on 17 peaks around New Zealand including Mt Eden and One Tree Hill.
Joseph Fa’afiu, a pastor in Papakura says he wanted the light to pierce through the dark night in a symbolic way for those who are struggling, as a message that there is hope.
‘‘Awareness brings the opportunity to break the stigma, silence and shame around suicide,’’ he says.
‘‘We don’t speak about it so it has become taboo. We want to bring it into the light so we can, as a community, work for better pre- vention solutions.’’
Fa’afiu said he hoped the event would become an annual one.
‘‘There was no judgement, no stigma and no shame around it. I was personally overwhelmed by the sense of support, the aroha, the love they got from everybody else.’’
line: 0800 543 354 Life-