Working together to prevent suicide on World Suicide Prevention Day.

Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust (from left) chairwoman Corinda Taylor, peer supporter Jess...
Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust (from left) chairwoman Corinda Taylor, peer supporter Jess Ryan and Hope Centre manager Rachael Brown. Ms Ryan is holding a poster for the trust's upcoming Light a Candle Night on September 10. PHOTO: THE STAR
A collaboration between Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust and the community will see everyone join together at 6 pm on September the 10th in the 6th annual World Suicide Prevention Day being held at First Church, Moray Place in Dunedin.

Our community will come together, remember loved ones lost to suicide, pay our respects, and listen to motivational speakers who have lived experience of suicide, mental health, and distress themselves.

Inspirational speakers on the night include Suzy Taylor, a bereaved mother who lost her daughter to death by suicide, John Hedges who has been a police officer for 26 years and will be providing an insight on suicide prevention from a police perspective, Aidan Barbour-Ryan who is a University of Otago student who ran 365 days to raise awareness and funds for mental health, and Bonnie Scarth who is the Suicide Prevention/ Postvention Coordinator for Otago and Southland who works at WellSouth. Our community will have time to share stories of their own as well. Our MC for the night is Carolyn McMillan who is also a trustee of the Trust.

Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust strives to break the silence surrounding suicide through developing suicide prevention initiatives, offering support, and promoting wellbeing.

“Every day, we lose many lives to suicide, and many more are profoundly impacted by their deaths. We acknowledge all who experience the challenges of suicidal ideation, and those who have lost loved ones through suicide.” (quote from WHO 2018 doc -

Life Matters has organised this well-attended event since 2014 and this will be no exception. Throughout this “Working Together to Prevent Suicide” themed, gold coin donation event, there will be 685 candles burning for each person who has died by suicide in New Zealand during the 2018/2019 year. This, unfortunately, all-time high statistic, makes it glaringly obvious that communities must take a united stand. We need to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, inspire others to break the silence, and encourage them to ask, ‘are you ok?’.

Please join us for musical performances from Molly Devine and Jamie McDonald, poetry from Kyra Gillies, candle lighting, and the placing of love tokens on a remembrance tree. The night will end with a Loving Kindness Meditation by Ainee Cha.

Come and experience a community coming together, connecting and standing united in the fight for mental wellness.

Everybody is welcome.

About Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust

Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust provides nationwide support to people when they struggle to engage with services by ensuring they know when to ask for help and making sure that they get the help they deserve. Life Matters also helps people to connect with good services and ensuring that stigma does not stop people from reaching out. Their nationwide online bereavement support group is peer support driven and can be accessed any time of the day and night. For more information visit


Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline, open 24/7: 0800 111 757.
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Youthline: 0800 376633, free text 234 or email
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1pm-11pm): 0800 942 8787
Kidsline (aimed at children up to age 14; 4pm-6pm weekdays): 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)
Rainbow youth (LGBTQ youth helpline): (09) 3764155

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