Supporting whanau through suicidal distress

This resource has been developed by Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand with whānau in mind. It is aimed at helping whānau and friends to support someone who is in crisis or distress. This resource gives you information about what to look for and how to help someone who may be feeling suicidal.

A person who is distressed might not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most people who attempt suicide don’t want to die – they just want to stop hurting. Support and connection with whānau, friends and culture can help them to find a way through. To support someone who is in crisis or distress, it is important to identify the supports or tokotoko they need, and also the support that you need in order to be a source of strength for them. You might need to be prepared to have difficult conversations and talk about mamae (hurt, pain).

This resource is based on a framework of He Tapu: kia tika, kia pono, kia mārama developed by Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru. The framework identifies six key poutoko or principles that emphasise the importance of te tapu o te tangata (the value of human life) and the individual and collective responsibility to protect tapu.

Nā tō rourou, nā tāku rourou
Ka ora ai te iwi
With your food basket and my food basket
the people will thrive

Supporting Whanau