Mar­ket a boost for Youth­line

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

A mar­ket day fundraiser is be­ing or­gan­ised by Taranaki R.A.T.S to raise money for Youth­line.

The fundraiser is in Strat­ford next month and will fea­ture mar­ket stalls, food stalls, face paint­ing, a mo­tor­cy­cle show and shine, raf­fles and auction. Event co-or­di­na­tor Pauline Webby says the day will raise money for Youth­line Taranaki and sup­port sui­cide preven­tion — an im­por­tant is­sue to talk about.

Youth­line works with young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies to en­sure they know where to get help and can ac­cess sup­port. It is made up of vol­un­teer and paid staff mem­bers and has cen­tres based across the coun­try.

Taranaki does not have a cen­tre and the clos­est one is in Palmer­ston North.

“To get enough money to have some­body co-or­di­nate it from here would be great.”

Pauline says rais­ing aware­ness around sui­cide is close to her heart.

“We have had a lot of biker friends who have lost fam­ily and chil­dren and we re­ally want to try and do some­thing to raise aware­ness. The face doesn’t show any­thing — peo­ple are bright and bub­bly — it’s just say­ing to peo­ple we are here to talk.”

Youth­line is not funded by the Gov­ern­ment and re­lies on grants and do­na­tions. The R.A.T.S char­i­ta­ble trust has formed a com­mit­tee chaired by Nigel Scott, based in In­gle­wood, and is work­ing with other Taranaki or­gan­i­sa­tions to help spread the word about sui­cide preven­tion.

The trust has helped ed­u­cate am­bas­sadors at Strat­ford , Waitara and Opunake high schools who can help other stu­dents who need help.

“They are there to talk to other stu­dents in the case of bul­ly­ing — it’s try­ing to get to that stage be­fore sui­cide takes over.”

There have been 668 sui­cides in New Zealand so far this year, 62 more than last year. Two peo­ple have com­mit­ted sui­cide in Taranaki over the last two weeks.

■ The Taranaki R.A.T.S mar­ket day fundraiser is on Oc­to­ber 21 in Strat­ford on Mi­randa Street. If you are wor­ried about your or some­one else’s men­tal health, get help from your GP or lo­cal men­tal health provider.

Mem­bers of the Taranaki R.A.T.S

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