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Walk With Me: Samaritans 10km Walk For Suicide Prevention

On Saturday evening 28 March, a large group of Wellingtonians will walk 10 kilometres to raise funds for Samaritans of Wellington. Samaritans is a charity that receives no Government funding and relies solely on grants and donations to operate.

The group will walk from Civic Square to Cogs Park in Hataitai and back again, around the beautiful Wellington waterfront. People from outside Wellington are invited to join the event virtually by walking 10km locally, at the same time on the same day, to raise funds for Samaritans.

Donations are given via the Samaritans Wellington Everyday Hero page: https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/walk-with-me

Mrs Gillian Ransom, who is organising the event, said “New Zealand has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. Everyday people from all walks of life can experience times when they feel down and need to chat. We’re walking to raise money for our helpline so people have a number they can call when they’re in a state of distress. We’re hoping to raise $15,000 from this event.”

Tragically, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand. There are significantly more deaths each year from suicide than from motor vehicle accidents. Annual provisional suicide statistics for deaths reported to the Coroner show that in New Zealand, 685 people took their own lives in the 2018 / 2019 year.

Samaritans is dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the alleviation of loneliness and depression which can lead to it. Samaritans provides a 24/7 helpline offering confidential, non-religious and non-judgmental support to anyone who may be feeling depressed, lonely or suicidal.

Samaritans of Wellington Board Chair, Peter Barker, says “There is a known correlation between good mental health and exercise. Walk With Me is for anyone who wants to support those in need – Get fit while you are doing your bit.”

Provisional figures show that in 2019 trained Samaritans volunteers based in Wellington took over 17,000 calls from people throughout New Zealand who needed someone to talk to. Approximately 1,000 of those were from callers who had suicidal thoughts, of which, over 700 had a partial or substantial degree of relief, following the call. In an average week, Samaritans volunteers in Wellington receive around 19 calls from people with suicidal thoughts and three calls from people with a plan for suicide.

Anyone can join the walk by emailing marketing@samaritans.org.nz or call 021 1978 002. RSVP by 6 March 2020.

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