Our team says being together, supporting one another and showing that you care are important ways of protecting whānau from whakamomori (suicide). It is important to ask the hard questions and be prepared to have tough conversations.
Kōrari manager Karina Davis-Marsden said: “It’s a simple concept, but it’s hard. Ask the question, are you ok? Let your whānau know they will be heard and that they’re in a safe space. Tell your whānau you love them and show them that they are important.”
“It’s imperative we talk about whakamomori and about whakamomori prevention, and what we can do to support our whānau, every single day.”
One way we do that here at Nga Kete is to bring whānau together. Over the past few months, Kōrari have hosted events, run campaigns and are planning upcoming hui.
In March this year, Kōrari hosted Te Manawa Whānau, a fun day out for the community at Takutai o Te Titi Marae in Colac Bay. The event encouraged whānau to come together and compete in fun activities, sports, enjoy a picnic, a swim, a bouncy castle, a sausage sizzle and more.
Health messages were promoted via health stalls and feedback from the event highlighted how much whānau appreciated and enjoyed the day. This type of event supports whānau to identify pro-social protective factors such as problem solving, community engagement, a strong cultural identity, staying involved and whānau wellbeing.
Feedback from the event:
“For me personally I came to reconnect not just for myself but my whānau … Māori community/customs/tikanga. I got to spend a mean day with my whānau.”
“What an awesome day bringing whānau and the community together. Felt the mauri and the aroha.”
The team also ran a campaign around returning old medication safely to reduce access to the means of whakamomori. The campaign encouraged people to return left over, expired, or unwanted medication to a pharmacy.
“Often whānau are unaware of the impact that holding on to medication has on our community. This campaign is a great opportunity to let people know we can make a difference by simply returning these medications,” Karina says.
Another example of bringing the community together was Ki Uta Ki Tai, a waka ama challenge held in Te Anau last year.
The event, hosted by Oraka Aparima Waka Ama and sponsored by Oraka Aparima Runaka and Nga Kete, featured 13 teams paddling, live music, kapa haka, local musicians, and kai stalls.
While the focus of the event was waka ama, it was also about celebrating whānau, resilience and connectivity.
The Kōrari team are hoping the event will become an annual occurrence and have supported the setup of a Te Anau Waka Ama Steering committee.
Kōrari also delivers a weekly podcast on Radio Southland. M.A.N.A (Make A Noise Aotearoa), hosted by kaimahi Raniera Dallas and Nadine Young, is broadcast Sunday evenings on 96.4FM and is shared online as a podcast. The health and wellbeing show provides a platform for health promotion, education and topical kōrero relevant for whānau.
Kaimahi Nadine Young said, “We discuss everything! From parenting, hot news and whānau events in Murihiku to Covid-19, mental health and stress management. It’s light-hearted and it’s fun but the kōrero is very real. We also invite manuhiri (visitors) in every week to talk about their services or area of expertise. It’s about connecting whānau to information and services which in turn strengthens those protective factors.”
Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, whānau, communities, or the larger society that mitigate or eliminate risk, thereby increasing the health and wellbeing of whanau. Protective factors help whānau to find resources, supports, or coping strategies. (Definition sourced online).
Kōrari focus heavily on protective factors. Kaimahi Raniera Dallas said the biggest protective factors are whānau and their connection to others. Whānau can help protect one another from whakamomori risk by the following protective factors:
- Possessing a strong cultural identity.
- Whanaungatanga – maintaining supportive relationships and staying involved with all whānau members.
- Having dreams, aspirations and setting goals
- Whakarongo – being a good listener
- Recognising and coping with stress
- Whānau wellbeing
- Tikanga and values
- Understanding the warning signs and risks that could lead to suicide
- Knowing where to turn for help
Kōrari are proud to support our communities through events and initiatives, and we’re asking you, the community, to rise up and speak out! Shout out when you’re not feeling great.
Get in touch with us if you have any ideas in this space. How can we help whānau to be stronger together? Phone us on 0800 925 242 or pop in and see us at 92 Spey Street, Invercargill.
Figures released by Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall showed 654 people died from suicide in the year to June 2020. 21/08/2020
Where to get help
1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.
thelowdown.co.nz – or email email@example.com or free text 5626
Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)
Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825