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Hope on wheels
A sunny yellow street party will roll around the maunga on Tuesday September 10 when the Tui Ora Van of Hope marks International Suicide Prevention Day.
September 10 has been an international day of awareness since 2003, with people worldwide taking action and renewing their commitment to prevent suicides in their communities.
Tui Ora Health Promoter Sue Martin said they decided to decorate their van in yellow and do a round- the-mountain road trip to take a positive suicide prevention message to the heart of smaller Taranaki communities.
The team in the van plans to take a "mobile street party" and a range of suicide prevention resources on the journey, with plans to stop in Waitara, Inglewood, Stratford, Eltham, Hāwera, Manaia and Ōākura.
The dancing talent of staff may be variable but their energy to help make positive change and their commitment to getting people talking to each other about suicide prevention is universal.
"Suicide prevention is everyone's business, everyone needs to get involved in it," Sue says.
When family or friends sense someone is struggling or is worried that they may be battling with suicidal thoughts, it's important they reach out and offer support.
"It is not like you are then responsible to fix everything but it's important to be there for someone and get them to the help they need if possible… somebody to be there and a supportive ear can make all difference," she says.
Need to talk? Free call or text1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline– 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666