Content warning: suicide, suicidal ideation
606 people in New Zealand died by suicide this year. One person in New Zealand died by their own hand every 15 hours, in this year alone.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and like many people, my life has been affected by suicide on more than one occasion. I have known people who have died by suicide. I have known people who have attempted suicide. And here’s a difficult and uncomfortable sentence to type, but I have thought about attempting suicide on several occasions.
Even that I’m uncomfortable talking about what is an objective fact in my life highlights a big part of the problem with mental health in New Zealand – we don’t talk about it. The fact that I’m skirting around specifics is contributing to the stigma, but I’m not quite ready to tell those stories. Yet. I hope I can get there eventually.
What I can tell you is that you’re not alone. There are people in your life who care about you and who want you to be here. I’m here. If you need someone to talk to, I’ll link some resources down below, but you can message me on my social channels if you need a sympathetic ear. I don’t have the answers, but I hope I can help, even just a little.
If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s mental health, please seek help from your GP or local mental health provider. If you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, please call the police immediately.
If you’re seeking help, here are some NZ based services you can get in touch with:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
Let me know in the comments if there are any other mental health resources you’d recommend. Kia kaha.