© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2018

Calls to normalise conversation about suicide

Steven Walton
Suicide prevention
World Suicide Prevention Day is about celebrating life and being there for everyone. Wikimedia Commons

Suicide survivor wants to use World Suicide Prevention Day as a starting point for conversation.

Amber Johnson tried to take her own life for the first time when she was 13 years old, and says there's still too much stigma around the issue.

"I mean, we really should be addressing it a lot more than just having one special day for it, but I think it's good to have one day where we can sit down and we can have a talk about it and start the conversation rolling again."

Amber Johnson will hold an event in Cathedral Square next week to promote suicide prevention and raise awareness.

"Conversation is a really strong thing, so if you're opening up the conversation, if you're talking about it, you're normalising it in a way and you're making people feel more comfortable."

Live for Tomorrow is also breaking the stigma, by encouraging a social media discussion about suicide.

Project Manager Andrew Sutherland wants people to share a #HandoverHeart selfie on social media. He said that World Suicide Prevention Day is about celebrating life and being there for everyone.

World Suicide Prevention Day was held this week for the 16th time since starting in 2003.

The coroner's provisional figures showed 87 people in Canterbury took their own lives over the last year, eight more than the year before.

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