World Suicide Prevention Day
On September 10th, members of the Challenge whānau, joined together to commemorate World suicide prevention day. A small group of staff organised the event and invited family, friends and staff who had been changed by the effects of suicide in recent years.
The organising group chose to plant three trees as a focus of hope, growth and shelter. All our whānau met, Harley lead karakia and Kitty spoke of the dignity and importance of each and every person and how we all had an essential mission in life to love others and to support each other. Then our missions team lead the planting and each person touched the trees, giving a blessing , remembering the losses and committing to be people of hope and love. It was a very moving and special time.
Read below for comments from our whānau.
Sara – Gap Year Student
In September the Challenge whānau marked international suicide awareness and prevention week. To me Suicide awareness is about making an active effort to normalise discussions around suicide and take away the stigma we have around suicide in Aotearoa. Support from people who care, connection with one’s sense of culture, purpose and identity all play huge roles in suicide prevention. It is a discussion with the aim of understanding and hope that – Things will get better and it all starts with the first korero.
At Challenge we chose this week as an opportunity to celebrate life. Three trees were planted to commemorate and show love to those that have been lost in our community. These trees also signify hope and a better future for our families and communities. Following this was a chance for every-one to sing waiata and have a chat to one another with tea and kai. Suicide awareness week is a great place to begin to get the conversations going, however, it is important to remember that we need to have these conversations not just this week – but every week.
Mapihi – Youth Worker
It was so special to have a time where our whānau and friends could come together and Be. I felt unified, loved, graced and just really appreciated every single person that came.
Heath – Intern Psychologist
When we gathered together it was difficult sitting in the same place where my late friend lay the year before. Being together made it a bit easier. It made me think that we need to take the opportunities to remind each other how much we value each other and show our interest in each other’s life.
Viv – Youth Services Manager
I was appreciative and grateful to be a part of planting hope. The sincerity of those who turned up from our wider whanau was moving and showed me how much we love and cared for those who we lost. One word sums it up: Serenity – a state of being calm and peaceful.