Our Team

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.

How We Operate

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.

How Do We Serve Our Community

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.

Meet the Team

Corinda

General Manager and Trustee

“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”.

Denise

Chair

“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”.

Bev Carter

Trustee

Robert

Secretary, Treasurer and Trustee

Claudia

Peer Supporter and Administrator

Olivia

Newsletter Designer

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.

Sidonie

Peer Supporter

Hi my name is Sidonie and 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.

Jess

Peer Supporter and Administrator

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.

Macy

Peer Supporter

Hey there! My name is Macy. I’m currently a first-year student studying Psychology at theUniversity of Otago. I’m a local to the Dunedin area. Mental Health is reallyimportant to me and I really respect Corinda and the work the Hope Centre does.

Kipley

Peer Supporter

Hello! My name is Kiply Macdonald and I’m a fourth year atthe University of Otago studying psychology and neuroscience. I started volunteerfor Life Matters at the beginning of 2020 because I feel that my personalexperience with mental health has given me the opportunity to help others whomight be going through the same issues.

Cass

Peer Supporter

Hey there, I am Cass, originally from the outsides of Wellington, I made my way down to Dunedin where I am in my second year of university studying neuroscience and psychology. In between studying and spending time with friends, you will find me getting out and about and playing hockey and handball. Painting is another one of my hobbies.


Olivia

Peer Supporter

Hi, I'm Olivia! I am a student at Otago, studying Psychology and Education. I was born and raised in the United States, but I moved out to New Zealand after high school. I am passionate about mental health awareness and am hoping to become a licensed therapist in the future :)

Ryan

Peer Supporter

Hi there, I'm Ryan. I'm a student at the University of Otago and I'm currently finishing my Bachelor's of Arts degree, majoring in Psychology. I'm an avid exercise nut, so you will probably find me at the gym or jogging around campus. I became a peer supporter to learn about how to assist and support those closest to me during their darkest hours. Further, I seek to make a difference in the suicide statistics in New Zealand by making a significant and positive contribution to people's lives.

Emma

Peer Supporter

My name is Emma, and I started volunteering with Life Matters after supporting some of my friends battling through serious mental health challenges - I always wanted to be able to do more for them and others going through the same thing. I’m a med student from Auckland, and I love skiing, travelling, the beach, and living life with my favourite people!

Isabelle

Peer Supporter

Hi, my name is Isabelle and I'm a Peer Support Volunteer. I'm a psychology postgrad student at Otago researching parent-child communication. I recently moved from the U.S and have really loved exploring NZ's beautiful nature! I started volunteering at the Hope Centre because I'm passionate about mental health awareness/ advocacy and enjoy getting more involved in the Dunedin community.

Lucia

Peer Supporter

Kia Ora! My name is Lucia, I am a recent graduate of Psychology and English from Otago Uni. Originally from Texas I grew up helping out around my moms green cemetery where I fostered a passion for mental health and wellbeing. Training as a Peer Supporter was a wonderful opportunity to further understand how to be an advocate for oneself and others and I hope to put this knowledge and passion towards becoming a licensed psychotherapist.

Joy

Peer Supporter

My name is Joy Larson. I am married and we have three boys. James and Nina live in Central Otago with their daughter Willa and Matthew and Angela live in Scotland with their son Cullen and daughter Lyla. Our eldest son Mark died 17 years ago. I worked in Education (Primary School) for over 25 years. There I was involved with both children and parents and loved being able to help them. I then decided on a new direction and trained in March this year to become a Peer Support Person. I feel that I have a lot of life experiences that will help many people. I am very privileged to be involved as a Peer Supporter with Life Matters. I love the Life Matters philosophy and want to support those affected by suicide and or mental health.

Georgia

Peer Supporter

Hi! My name is Georgia and I'm studying Psychology at Otago Uni. I began volunteering with Life Matters this year because I am super passionate about mental health. Some other things that I love in life include travelling, animals, and food.

Spook the Great Dane

Ambassador of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust

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.

James

Event Manager

James Sutherland is a OtagoUni Student who has been involved with Life Matters for a year since coming toDunedin last year. He was previously involved in capacity with the OtagoSuicide Prevention Trust. James’s own battle with Mental Health and Suicidewith personal battles and losing his Grandfather to suicide sparked his firefor making sure that there is a place to talk, that is safe andnon-judgemental. The need for better services has been at the forefront ofJames’s mission to advocate for those especially in rural communities and ofyouth. James believes it is okay not to be okay. He was also fortunate toreceive the Central Otago Youth Award and Kiwibank Local Hero Medal in 2017 forhis work in the community. This has only given this young man more fire in hissoul. He will not stop till there is a mental health system that works forrural folks not just the city, one system does not fit all.  

Eric

Peer Supporter

"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."

John

Peer Supporter