© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

'It's okay to not be okay'

Steven Walton

Suicide prevention worker Jason Tata is urging people to talk about their mental health issues after a rise in suicide rates in Canterbury.

Provisional figures from the coroner show that 87 people in Canterbury took their own lives over the last year. That's eight more than the year before. 

Jason Tata from the suicide prevention movement, HopeWalk, is calling for more conversation around the issue. 

"Something really needs to be done about it. Suicide affects everyone and its everyone's business. It's up to us as individuals to portray and put the message out there that it's okay to not be okay."

Tata said people needed "to talk about it" because "the more talking we do, the better we can inform people there are places and networks out there that can help". 


1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

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

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825.

If it is an emergency or you, or someone you know, is at risk call 111.