This year, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Samaritans will host HopeWalk Wellington.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is “Let nature in: Strengthen your wellbeing.”
What better way to strengthen your wellbeing than by getting together with friends, dressing in yellow (the colour of hope) and joining HopeWalk to raise awareness for suicide prevention in the beautiful natural setting of the Wellington Botanic Gardens?
Cities throughout New Zealand and the Pacific region are holding HopeWalks on different dates this year as part of Pastor Joseph Fa'afiu's vision to increase suicide awareness.
The aim of HopeWalk Wellington is to raise awareness of the devastating effect suicide has on families in our community and to work together with other likeminded organisations and community groups to provide a platform for suicide prevention, valuing the fact that not one group has the solution, but we are #StrongerTogether.
The walk will go ahead whatever the weather. There will be a flat 15 minute walk for elderly and disabled participants and also a hilly 30 minute main walk. All will be starting and finishing at The Soundshell in the Botanic Gardens.
The Chief Coroner’s latest annual report shows that 668 people died by suicide in New Zealand between July 2017 and June 2018. That’s nearly double the number of road deaths.
Samaritans Board Chair, Peter Barker, hoped the event would help remind those who felt like they had nobody they could talk to, that they were never alone.
Samaritans has been at the front-line of suicide prevention in Wellington for over 50 years. They provide a 24/7 helpline service offering confidential, non-religious, non-judgmental support to anyone who may be feeling depressed, lonely or suicidal.
People call Samaritans for a number of reasons. They may be dealing with a relationship breakdown. They may have lost a loved one recently, or be unemployed and under financial stress. They may be experiencing family violence or bullying. They may be suffering from depression, anxiety or contemplating suicide.
There is no one reason why people call Samaritans. Everybody’s story, pain, struggle is different. But, Samaritans are there to listen and to provide support, to help people find a way through the difficult times, before they lose hope.
HopeWalk Wellington is being held on Saturday 13 October, 12-1pm at the Soundshell, Wellington Botanic Gardens.
To support Samaritans text HOPE to 5785 to donate $3 or visit www.samaritans.org.nz/donate
Need to talk? Call Samaritans on 04 473 9739 or 0800 726 666 (available 24/7).