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Role of connections highlighted for health

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/09/2016

Anyone can ask someone how they're doing and everyone should, say those who deal with suicide.

Saturday is World Suicide Prevention Day and those who work with the complex issue in New Zealand say connections can be key to preventing suicide.

"Loneliness is a serious public health issue with a simple solution," says Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson.

"You don't need to be a mental health professional to ask someone how they're doing. A simple kia ora or g'day can be the start of a conversation that can save a life." he says.

The international theme for World Suicide Prevention Day this year is connect, communicate and care.

Suicide is preventable and support from people who care can help people to find a way through, Mr Robinson says.

If you're worried about someone, ask them directly, he says.

"Listen calmly to their answer without judgement and give them as much time as they need to talk through what they are experiencing," he said.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354.

Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757

Healthline - 0800 611 116

Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787

Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays) 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)

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