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World Suicide Prevention Day Saturday 10 September 2011

World Suicide Prevention Day Saturday 10 September 2011

The key message for World Suicide Prevention Day is that help is available to people who need it.

“We know there are many people in our communities who have had difficult times in the last year experiencing stresses such as death of a loved one or natural disasters. It’s important to remember that there may be some people around us who are struggling and need help. If people are worried about family, friends or someone in their community, or about themselves, there is help available.” says David Chaplow, Acting Director of Mental Health.

Severe stress can lead to depression, which is the largest single contributor to suicide. One in six New Zealanders experiences a serious episode of depression during their lifetime. Few seek help early enough, and consequently the impact of depression is more severe than it needs to be. The Government funds the National Depression Initiative as one way to reduce the impact of depression on the lives of New Zealanders.

The National Depression Initiative includes support for youth through the interactive website, The Lowdown (www.lowdown.co.nz), which helps young people to understand depression and provides access to online, webcam and text-based services.

A newer component is The Journal, a self-help depression management e-tool which has been developed with support from John Kirwan. 18,000 people have registered with the Journal and more than 10,000 actively using it.

The Depression Helpline (0800 111 757) is also available for those wanting support and information about depression. It continues to receive an average of up to 50 calls a day and is effectively assisting people to find the professional help they need.

BACKGROUND

World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides

One in six New Zealanders experiences a serious episode of depression during their lifetime. Few seek help early enough, and consequently the impact of depression is more severe than they need to be.

Many don’t recognise they are depressed, or believe they can manage alone without professional care.

Appropriate agencies include:

Depression helpline (0800 111 757)
Youthline (0800 376 633)
Lifeline (0800 543 354)
Samaritans (0800 726 666)

ENDS

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