North Taranaki Midweek

Hui to support those touched by suicide


People touched by suicide are being offered support through a series of short community hui to be held throughout Taranaki.

‘‘We’re very mindful that there are many individual­s who have been impacted by tragedies – some very, very close to them,’’ Jamie Allen, who founded Taranaki Retreat, said.

‘‘Our hearts go out to every person who is grieving in our community. We see you. We want you to know the extent of the aroha and manaakitan­ga that surrounds you.’’

Allen is talking on behalf of the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group, which is organising the community hui for anybody who has lost someone through suicide at any time – this year or decades ago.

The group is a collective of wha¯nau, services and organisati­ons who work collaborat­ively to provide support and care throughout the region to reduce suicide.

Members of the group include Tui Ora, Victim Support, New Plymouth Injury Safe, Central Taranaki Safe Community Trust, Taranaki Retreat, Taranaki Rural Support Trust, Building Wellness Taranaki Trust, Yellow Brick Road, Hope Walk New Plymouth Taranaki, Taranaki R.A.T.S (Riders Against Teenage Suicide), Witt, Te Whatu Ora Taranaki, Pinnacle Midlands Health Network – Taranaki, other community supports, those with lived experience and wha¯ nau.

As part of the group, Allen is involved in organising the community hui for people who have been affected by suicide so they can get together for support. The hui are also for those who are concerned about somebody’s safety.

‘‘Each hui will be around an hour long, followed by kai. You won’t be expected to speak up, if you don’t want to – it will be fine just to ‘be present’,’’ he said.

‘‘There are many options and choices, and we work to make sure that they are available to wha¯nau in a timely and safe manner,’’ he says.

‘‘We also want to make sure that people know the range of options that are available and how to access them – both in the immediate term – or months/ years later. Our grief doesn’t just go away; we all need support to heal and get through it.’’

When the hui take place will be determined by those who register, Allen said.

‘‘We think about it as providing a watering hole to gather around; involving a wide range of local organisati­ons.’’

At these ‘‘watering holes’’, there will be an option for oneon-one support and debriefing, along with the opportunit­y for karakia, lighting a candle in memory, reflection and to work in small groups (optional).

Anyone interested is invited to register for the hui, which will take place during November and December. They include gatherings scoped specifical­ly for children and teenagers to be included; for adults only, and for men/women only.

Specific communitie­s, such as workplaces, marae, wha¯nau, sports groups or faith communitie­s can also register for a hui to be arranged specifical­ly for their people. They can be convened anywhere within the Taranaki Region.

‘‘The concept is – we will come to you,’’ Allen said.

‘‘You don’t have to do the reaching out, which we know from our own experience is incredibly hard to do. We want to meet up kanohi-ki-te-kanohi and gather together – for it is in the combined strength of being together that we bring about change.’’

Allen urges anybody reading this story to spread the word, as widely as possible, so nobody misses out.

Registrati­on can be done online via taranakire­ nz/hui or by calling Taranaki Retreat on 06 215 0993.

For more informatio­n about the upcoming series of community hui, contact Jamie Allen at careteam@taranakire­treat. 2150993 or Sam Mahy, Taranaki suicide prevention and postventio­n co-ordinator, TaranakiSu­icidePreve­ntion@

 ?? VANESSA LAURIE/STUFF ?? Taranaki Retreat founder Jamie Allen is encouragin­g anyone who has been impacted by suicide to register for hui being run by the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group. (File photo)
VANESSA LAURIE/STUFF Taranaki Retreat founder Jamie Allen is encouragin­g anyone who has been impacted by suicide to register for hui being run by the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group. (File photo)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand