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Street Appeal Day Highlights Gaps In The System

A chronic shortage of counsellors and coroners, financial support for families going through the coronial system, and the urgent need for free peer support workers throughout the mental health system are the critical issues highlighted on Street Appeal Day.

On Friday 30 July on the streets of Dunedin, Mosgiel, Milton, Invercargill and Bluff dozens of businesses and individuals will get behind the cause of preventing suicide by collecting funds for Dunedin-based Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust.

Funds raised will enable the Trust, a registered charity, to fund private therapy and counselling for people on waiting lists, or who cannot otherwise afford or qualify for support, Life Matters Manager Corinda Taylor said.

At the Hope Centre in Dunedin our friendly team of peer supporters are always keen to find ways to walk alongside and advocate for people on their journey to recovery, wellness and to thrive.

“It’s only through the generosity of the community that we can do this work.”

Mrs Taylor said there are critical gaps in the mental health system. As well as providing direct support to people, Life Matters aims to raise awareness and advocate for change.

Nationwide we are advocating for more support for suicide-bereaved whanau by appointing more coroners and support staff to reduce lengthy delays, more support for people at risk of suicide and their whanau through more free counselling services and more free peer support in Aotearoa.

Since lockdown we have seen a marked increase in the demand for our services. While it is a good thing that people seek support we also know that people seek our support because of our non-clinical and relaxed approach compared to traditional services who cannot cope with the demand.

“The charity relies solely on donations, business sponsorships and grants to provide its support services.”

Mrs Taylor asked the community to support the fundraising campaign and help the doors to the Hope Centre remain open.

“Your donation or sponsorship will give people at risk of suicide the opportunity to receive the support they need such as therapy, peer support, and advocacy,” she said.

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