Topic: Health

Gang colours set aside to support suicide prevention

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Every year on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day is observed, a global day of awareness to promote action against suicide.

In NZ, it has been a battle fought for decades, a fight that's seen gang colours set aside to help prevent suicide.

25-year-old Jistar often visits the cemetery to see his younger brother Rowdel, who was lost to suicide at just 17 years old.

According to Jistar Konia (Ngāti Porou), “I hate suicide and I want to try and stop it, as quick as I can.  Because my little brother committed suicide in 2009”.

Since the death of his brother, he has been studying hard to become a youth social worker, because he doesn't want to see another life lost in this way.

Through his involvement with Te Taitimu Trust, he's met other youth like Te Rina Tipuna, who help find solutions for youth to manage their emotions.

Te Rina says it can be hard for young people to open up, and social media sometimes provides that outlet, but it must be used carefully.

Statistics show this year alone, more than 500 people took their own lives and though it is World Suicide Awareness Day today, for these two, raising awareness is an everyday battle.

There is a range of free services, resources and information available for those in need of help:

Mental Health Foundation - Ph: (09) 6234810 or visit

Lifeline - Freephone: 0800 543 354 or visit

Depression Helpline - Freephone: 0800 111 757 or visit

Healthline - Freephone: 0800 611 116 or visit

Youthline - Freephone: 0800 376 633 or Free TXT 234 or you can visit