Help­ing out those up­set by sui­cide

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Sui­cide pre­ven­tion is what a lot of groups fo­cus on, but Lifebuoy Mata­mata is dif­fer­ent. The group, made up of vol­un­teers from lo­cal po­lice, Starfish So­cial Ser­vices, a doc­tor from the med­i­cal cen­tre, the lo­cal col­lege and the min­istry of ed­u­ca­tion, fo­cus on ‘‘postven­tion’’ fol­low­ing a sui­cide.

Lifebuoy mem­ber Greg Dunn said pre­ven­tion is the ideal but there needs to be sup­port for those im­pacted by sui­cide.

The group try to mit­i­gate the im­pacts of sui­cides and hope­fully re­duce the risk of fur­ther sui­cides. They do this through con­tact­ing peo­ple af­fected and of­fer­ing ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port if re­quired.

Lifebuoy are cur­rently look­ing for more vol­un­teers.

Dunn said they were look­ing for peo­ple who are sen­si­tive to other’s needs, com­mit­ted to the com­mu­nity, em­pa­thetic to oth­ers and who have a high sense of in­tegrity. Aware­ness of con­fi­den­tial­ity is also im­por­tant for those want­ing to be con­sid­ered po­ten­tial mem­bers of the group. Dunn said ex­pe­ri­ence of, or around, sui­cide is not crit­i­cal but could be ben­e­fi­cial.

Lifebuoy was es­tab­lished in Mata­mata af­ter a sui­cide six years ago. Fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity fo­rum meet­ing in Novem­ber 2008, a con­sen­sus was achieved that some form of lo­cal so­lu­tion needed to oc­cur.

The non-funded group meets quar­terly and af­ter a sui­cide.

Those in­ter­ested can con­tact Dunn at gdunn@matmed.co.nz or Ju­dith Kelle­her at ke@mata­mat­col­lege.school.nz.

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