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September 6, 2017

Mental health initiatives put together

A calendar of mental health and suicide prevention trainings, workshops and programmes is being published to mark this weekend's World Suicide Prevention Day (Sunday 10 September).

Suicide Prevention Action Group Chair Paula Mason says there are several upcoming opportunities for people to learn more about looking after themselves and their friends/whanau.

"We all need to do something about our mental health issues, and there are many ways people can get involved, including signing up for online free webinars," she says.

The calendar will include this Sunday's Lost Souls event remembering people who have died by suicide, at the Greymouth council fountain at 5.30pm; understanding youth mental health workshops in Greymouth and Westport; local support group meetings; workshops for men; and Mental Health Education and Resource Centre webinars on suicide prevention.

"These calendars are available for download (click here), on the Community and Public Health website www.cph.co.nz, West Coast health social media sites, and printed copies will be available from health facilities and pharmacies on the West Coast.

"Together we can make a difference in looking out for our whanau, knowing what to look for and being able to make sure those who need it get professional help," Ms Mason says.

To help those you love stay connected, here's a few tips:

  • Make sure your mate turns up for footy, netball or band practice
  • Invite them for tea, or a movie, or just for a cuppa, on a regular basis.
  • Make sure they're not hitting the drink too hard, or taking drugs.

"When things go wrong, mental illness and its consequences can have a huge toll on individuals, family, friends, mates, colleagues, and those who have tried to help along the way whether in a personal or professional capacity.  If you can see a chance to provide some support, step up and do it.  And make sure they are connecting with health services." 

If you or someone you know needs more help, here are some avenues:

In an emergency:  Call 111 if there is an immediate danger to life.

General practices (GPs) are a good first step for people needing help.  You can also contact the West Coast Primary Health Organisation (03) 768 6182 who offer counselling services.

Triage Assessment and Crisis Team (TACT):  Phone 0800 757 678.  The TACT team provides psychiatric assessment and treatment for people experiencing an acute episode of mental illness especially when their own or someone else's safety is at risk. The TACT team can advise in situations where there are concerns about intentional self-harm behaviours.

Community mental health: Phone (03) 768 0499:  Community mental health services are provided across the West Coast. They provide psychiatric assessment and treatment for people with serious mental illness.

iCAMHS (Child, Adolescent Mental Health Service):  Phone: (03) 769-7670. Community-based services for children (and their families/whanau) from birth to 18 years with serious mental illness, suspected psychiatric or psychological problems, including severe emotional or behavioural problems.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (8am – 12midnight) – 0800 111 757
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 211 211
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234,
or email talk@youthline.co.nz
What's Up (5 – 18 year olds, 1pm - 11pm) – 0800 942 8787
Kidsline (up to 14 years old, 4pm - 6pm weekdays) – 0800 54 37 54
Mental Health Foundation Link to web page

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