“He kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea”
September the 10 each year marks International World Suicide Prevention Day. A time to reflect, a time for remembrance, a time to reach out to others.
Just before the exciting All Blacks vs Tonga game started on Saturday; the crowd was called to a moment of silence. As an eerie hush came over the crowd, the commentator relayed a poignant message to all who had gathered. Suicides are happening at an alarming rate throughout Aotearoa and tane make up the majority of the people who have taken their lives. 25,000 people were gathered in that stadium and all of them were told, we must NOT BE SILENT! We must all make noise to stop what is happening, to stop suicide! We need to encourage everyone to talk, to seek support and to speak up! With that, everyone was encouraged to yell and shout and the whole stadium came alive with vitality, vibrancy and a releasing of all the stresses of the day. Ready for life, ready for the game and for a good day.
Nothing says it better than the whakatauki- “He kokonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngakau e kore e kitea” – We can see the corners of a house, but we cannot see into the depths of someone’s heart and emotions. This saying is profound and true for so many of our whānau who are experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts. Although we might think someone is ok, they may just not be showing what is happening on the inside. Some of the strongest people, doing amazing things, can still have huge inner struggles.
We can work together to change things. If we reach out, contact others and create safe spaces to share & talk about our feelings, our struggles and our accomplishments.
If you think somebody close to you is feeling down or even suicidal ask them how they are; it’s ok to show you care!
- Support whānau and friends to talk about their feelings openly to find a way forward.
- Be a good listener; you don’t need to have the answers.
- Encourage whānau to get support. It doesn’t cost anything to reach out.