Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust was formed in July 2014 by concerned citizens wanting to make a difference to our suicide statistics in New Zealand.
The Trust was formed because there was very little support available to families bereaved by suicide or those that are suicidal. We provide much needed support and give a voice for the thousands of families devastated by suicide.
The Trust does funding applications to cover all their operational costs. Many generous sponsors have helped giving funds and also helping out with fundraising campaigns. We welcome donations which go towards training in suicide prevention and supporting those in need.
Our aim is to reduce the suicides in our country by promoting suicide prevention strategies, educating and supporting our community, raising awareness about suicide by breaking the stigma and supporting those bereaved by it.
“Hello, I am Corinda Taylor. My most important job is that as a mother and wife. I lost my beloved son Ross, aged twenty, to suicide in March 2013 due to failures of the system and individuals. Because I believe that Ross’ suicide could have been prevented and due to the lack of support after his suicide I called a public meeting to connect with like-minded people. I am the founding member and chair of the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. My aim is to make sure that nobody struggles to get help when they ask for it. From this end a petition was started with Denise’s help and we delivered it to the House of Representatives and respectfully requested a comprehensive independent nationwide Inquiry into Mental Health Services to be conducted to determine if current services meet the requirements and if future planning is adequate to meet future demand. We hope that the growing nationwide support will help us to make sure that nobody should die in despair and alone in the health care system. Zero suicide in health care is my aim”.
“Kia ora, my name is Denise Kent and I’m the mother of four grown up children, Kai Tahu. The Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust is something that is dear to my heart as me and my whanua have lost people dear to us to suicide. I have also had my own journey bringing up my children alone and having to seek counselling for a time and that is probably what has taken me to this area of peer support and work. I have been involved in Life Line for five years as a counsellor and trainer as well as the Tough Love programme once again for five years as a buddy and trainer.
My area of work is peer support and advocacy. It has not been always easy for me as a mum, raising my children and at times also struggled to get them through their own black dog. I’m really passionate about the Life Matters’ philosophy and was involved right from the start at the very first meeting and a founding member. My role in Life Matters is public speaking, delivering safetalk, peer support and organising events. My wish is that we do not have to do this and that eventually we will have zero suicide”.
“Hi there, my name is Carolyn McMillan. Twelve years ago the unthinkable happened and I lost my only sibling, Fiona, to suicide. As devastating as it was it made me realise that I wanted to make a difference, and also reduce the stigma surrounding suicide. I didn’t know how I was going to do that but knew in time the opportunity would arise. The opportunity that arose was Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust, it fitted with my beliefs in that I believe that prevention is important and vital, as well as education.
I am now honoured to be a trustee and the treasurer of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. I have a passion for making a difference, having suffered debilitating depression and anxiety myself, and losing a loved one to suicide. It is not easy juggling being a full-time working mum with a four and six year-old, but if I can make a difference then it is certainly worth it.”
"Hi, my name is Rachael. I have recently moved back to Dunedin with my two children after spending the past 16 years in Central Otago. I was born with an empathetic heart and have worked the last 25 years in the Health and Disability sector in various volunteering and employed roles. My life was touched by suicide in my early 20's when I lost someone very close to me. Then in my mid 20's I lost my mum very tragically which resulted in a year in the court system. I found out how frustrating this can be for individuals/families seeking justice. I have spent the past 7 years working for Victim Support based in the Alexandra Police Station. Within that role I have come to believe that with grief our world changes. Our outlook on life is not the same especially when part of us is missing. Although with the right support, knowledge and guidance the light at the end of our grief tunnel won't be the same, but there is light. I feel very honored to be part of the Life Matters team, raising awareness and making a difference."
"Hello, my name is Eric Tey. I am a University of Otago student studying Pharmacy. I am also one of the Peer Support Volunteers here at Life Matters. Being a person that can make a positive difference in people's lives is something that I strive to be, and it is one of the biggest reasons I study a health professional degree. I believe that stigma surrounding mental health should be eradicated, and when I saw the opportunity to volunteer at Life Matters, I took it immediately. I hope that, in the future, I can use both my clinical skills learnt at University, and the first hand experience helping others with mental health here at Life Matters, to make a difference in the way society deals with and tackles the mental health problem in New Zealand."
Hi, my name is Sidonie. I’m a peer support volunteer for Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. This role is so important to me not only because I can see how many people benefit from the resources available at Life Matters, but how meaningful the support given is. I am currently a first year Psychology student and in life I can only hope to have a positive effect on people’s lives. After having my own struggles with mental health, I am so grateful that Corinda started up such a meaningful trust, and I have so much respect for every person that comes in to get support.
Meet Jess Ryan who is a University of Otago student studying Psychology. Jess is one of our trained peer support volunteers at the Hope Centre. Jess always strives to help others and make a positive difference in people’s lives. Throughout her life Jess has always jumped at opportunities to help give people who are struggling to be heard a voice, or be a listening ear for them. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to acknowledge and listen to you for a positive impact to be had on your life, and this is something Jess lives by. Jess wants the stigma around mental health to be challenged so that more people reach out for support when they need it. She is hoping the knowledge she has learnt from her degree and the hands on experience she has gained here at Life Matters will enable her to promote a positive change in New Zealand society around the views on mental health.
Bailey Wiltshire is a third-year psychology student at the University of Otago and began volunteering as a Peer Support worker at Life Matters this year. Bailey knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a counsellor. What started out as a natural ability to encourage and comfort friends has turned into her passion to become a practicing psychologist. Bailey moved to New Zealand from the US six years ago at the age of 15. Although she loves New Zealand and now calls it home, this big move had a significant emotional impact on her. Additionally, Bailey’s parents divorced when she was a young child and she’s always had to navigate those difficult relationships. Throughout her difficult challenges, Bailey credits certain people and mental health counsellors in her life that helped her navigate her feelings and emotions and she believes that there is nothing more powerful than open, non-judgmental support from another person. Her goal in her interactions with anyone who finds the courage to come to Life Matters is that she helps those people feel heard, validated, and cared for in the way that she was so fortunate to have experienced.
Hello, my name is Olivia King and I am a recent graduate of the University of Otago. Being a psychology student, I have a huge passion for helping others, doing good and speaking out about mental health. I've heard of too many people whose lives have been lost to suicide, and when I saw Life Matters were looking for volunteers to help with newsletter and content work I went for it. I started as a volunteer in July 2018 and now work casually helping create online newsletters, work on training modules and develop content to promote upcoming events. I am so proud to work for a team focused on reducing stigma, educating others and most importantly providing support to those affected by suicide and/or mental health difficulties. I am loving helping develop and build the Trust by working behind-the-scenes and have learnt so much already. Knowing I am working for people who are so driven to spread support, love and acceptance is the most rewarding part of this role and I am so grateful to be in this position.
Spook and Colleen are proud to be associated with the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust.
People love to pat Spook and chat with Colleen.
You’ll find Spook at many of our events or you can invite him to visit your workplace for much needed love and laughs.