Event to pre­vent

North Taranaki Midweek - - FRONT PAGE -

Whanau event to raise sui­cide aware­ness, Chris­tine Walsh talks to driv­ing force be­hind it.

Mihi Adams knows first­hand what it feels like to grieve for some­one she has loved and lost to sui­cide.

The New Ply­mouth mum-of-four re­veals how raw that hurt is as she fights back tears in an ef­fort to get her words out.

‘‘My brother com­mit­ted sui­cide two months ago,’’ Adams said. ’’I was brought up by my grand­par­ents so you know, you’ve got to be hard, all that kind of thing.

‘‘It’s a sub­ject that’s re­ally, you know, you can’t talk about it, no­body talks about that kind of thing.

Adams strug­gles to make sense of the tragic or­deal, but has found a sense of so­lace and pur­pose by help­ing out and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sui­cide pre­ven­tion sup­port group, Walk/Run/Stroll - Look­ing af­ter No1.

Ev­ery sec­ond Sun­day from 10am the group sets off from the YMCA and any­one can join them in a ca­sual walk or run around parts of the city in the com­pany of oth­ers be­fore wind­ing down with a cuppa, a snack, and a chat.

Walk/Run/Stroll - Look­ing af­ter No1 pro­vides a way to spark con­ver­sa­tion about sui­cide in a non­judge­men­tal sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment. ‘‘If you’re hav­ing those thoughts and you are feel­ing down there is some­one there to talk to.’’

New Zealand has one of the worst sui­cide rates in the de­vel­oped world and come Septem­ber 10, World Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion Day, the group in­tends paint­ing this lit­tle cor­ner of the world yel­low in a bid to high­light the is­sue in their own way.

Peo­ple are in­vited to sport yel­low wigs and out­fits to match, for a low-key free whanau event at the YMCA from 12pm to 3pm.

On the day’s agenda will be a walk and talk to the Wind Wand for a bal­loon re­lease be­fore re­turn­ing to the YMCA for fun things to do; face paint­ing, a yel­low cup cake com­pe­ti­tion, a dance com­pe­ti­tion, and kids colour­ing in, they will have a yel­low rib­bon board to place rib­bons and more.

The driv­ing force be­hind the sup­port group and the event is Katie Ta­here, a firm be­liever in the ben­e­fits of a bit of ex­er­cise out in the open air. Ta­here also ex­pe­ri­enced the dev­as­tat­ing af­ter­math of los­ing whanau to sui­cide.

‘‘I’m also do­ing fundrais­ing and have com­mit­ted to three lo­cal events in Taranaki start­ing with 1/2 Marathon in Oc­to­ber then Round the Moun­tain 150km bike ride and fin­ish with Moun­tain to Surf.’’


Front; Katie Ta­here and Mihi Adams part of Walk/Run/Stroll - Look­ing af­ter No1.

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