August 2018

Media release 15 August 2018

Splashing yellow throughout New Plymouth to celebrate life is the drive behind this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

On Monday September 10, organisations, businesses, schools and individuals are encouraged to wear yellow or buy a yellow ribbon, with proceeds going to the Taranaki Retreat. The retreat on the outskirts of New Plymouth accommodates individuals and whānau for residential stints who are dealing with suicide and other related issues.

The promotion is the initiative of the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group. Group member Sue Martin, a Tui Ora health promoter, said yellow represents hope and hope is a vital for whānau and individuals grappling with issues around suicide.

“Life is pretty tough for some people, but there are always options. 

"We want people to commit to life. To connect and talk to others is the key to getting us through. 

"There is always someone who can help, and all of us – friends, peers, work colleagues, neighbours, professionals – have a part to play.”

Meanwhile a group of registered nurses who work in occupational health say there is a growing awareness of mental wellness and suicide prevention among the employers and employees they work with.

The New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) Association – Taranaki is represented on the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group by Kathleen Clement, OHN at Fitzroy Engineering. The OHN’s undertake on-going professional development that includes topics around mental health and wellbeing.

“It’s something that we are all aware of. We complete medical assessments, often at the workplace, supporting workers to understand the health risks they face at work. 

"Ensuring good mental health is an important part of the overall health picture. It might not even be the individual, but a family member or a work colleague that they need support for.”

Kathleen says when it comes to talking to males, (those traditionally regarded as being less open), sometimes it’s knowing the right questions to ask and not being scared to begin the conversation.

“I do find that if I start the conversation and lead people into it, that they will open up. Just saying – would you like to tell me how you are? - I have noticed you are not so happy - is there something I can help you with?”

She says it is important to talk about these topics and understand they are part of wholesome wellbeing. 

“Health is not just about physical things, mental health is just as important.”

Workplaces can benefit from education at health and safety meetings on issues such as good mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention. Discussions, she says, that teach people the skills and confidence to take good self-care, learn ways to look out for one another, and know it is important to connect with people and ask - are you ok?

Businesses, organisations and schools interested in selling the yellow ribbons to help with the fundraising are asked to contact Sue Martin, health promoter, Tui Ora, [email protected] ph. 759 4064 or 027

Media background

For queries about the work of New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) Association – Taranaki or to interview the nurses, contact Kathleen Clement 64 6 759 5252 | DDI: +64 6 759 5275 | MOB: +64 27 703 3346
Email: [email protected]

Members of the Taranaki Suicide Prevention Group include: Tui Ora, Supporting Families in Mental Illness, Progress to Health, Rural Support Taranaki, Victim Support, NP Injury Safe, New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses Association – Taranaki, Taranaki Retreat, Mental Health NZ as well as a number of counsellors.


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