24 May 2017

Tongan families left devastated by teenage suicide create guide

From Morning Report, 8:49 am on 24 May 2017

A group of Tongan families left devastated by teenage suicide have helped to develop a guide they hope will show others in their community what to be on the alert for.

AUT PhD student ‘Aulola Lino

AUT PhD student ‘Aulola Lino Photo: RNZ / Laura Tupou

The first Tongan youth suicide prevention resource was launched last night at AUT after two years of work.

The Tongan Framework for Suicide Prevention, or Heilala Malu, outlines potential warning signs, risk factors, and solutions from those who know best - people who have lost a young family member to suicide.

The resource was funded by the Health Research Council and the idea came from the participants of Dr Tiatia-Seath's 2015 research into suicide prevention for Tongan youth in Aotearoa.

The study interviewed 13 Tongan families from around the country bereaved from suicide.

Dr Tiatia-Seath and AUT PhD student 'Aulola Lino developed the pamplet along with an advisory panel.

"This isn't just a piece of paper... The point is in the voices of our families that we've lost. The voices of our young people that have gone before us," Dr Tiatia-Seath told the packed room.

Where to get help relating to suicide and mental health:

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (24/7)
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who might be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
  • Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz
  • What's Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children's helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends)
  • Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.