Helping out those upset by suicide
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 email@example.com or Judith Kelleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.