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 to the thousands of families devastated by suicide.

How We Operate

The Trust receives no funding from the Government. Instead, funding applications cover all operational costs. Many generous sponsors have helped by giving funds and also helping with fundraising campaigns. We welcome donations which go towards supporting those in need and training in suicide prevention.

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. Most of our work is done out of the Hope Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Meet the Team

Corinda

General Manager

Kia ora, 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 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.

Carolyn

Chair

Carolyn is the Chair of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. She is extremely passionate about mental health and the breaking the stigma that it creates.  How many people actually stop and realise that we all have mental health, as we all have a brain, and just like physical health each one of us is going to have mental health struggles throughout our life, however the stigma often stops us from speaking up and then we lose hope partially because we are scared of the stigmatisation. Hope is often lost in the depths of mental health, but if we create hope through action, we can show those struggling that there is light through having hope. Hope was not something Carolyn always had through her own mental health struggles years ago, and the death of her sister through suicide, but now she focusses with others through being involved in Life Matters on creating hope through support and education. We are all in this together and together we can create hope to help those that are struggling to see it.

Michael

Treasurer

Growing up in Dunedin, I have local roots and am grateful to be able to help where I can in the community. I have over 10 years experience as a Chartered Accountant and work with boards of both for-profit and non-profit entities to help them achieve their goals. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, a round of golf and mountain biking.

Clare

Trustee

Between 2008 and 2020 Clare was the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin South before retiring at the 2020 election. Clare was a committed local member of parliament, advocating and representing her constituents, particularly on issues related to housing, health, mental health and equality. She was a staunch voice for the South Dunedin suburbs, especially after the significant 2015 floods. Alongside her role as a trustee for Life Matters, Clare currently sits on the board of the Dunedin Night Shelter.

Denise

Trustee

Kia ora, my name is Denise Kent and I’m the mother of four grown up children, Kai Tahu. 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 - 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 as a founding member. My role in Life Matters is public speaking, delivering safetalk, peer support and organising events. My wish is that we don't have to do this and that eventually we will have zero suicide.

James

Trustee

Kia Ora, I have been fortunate to be involved in Life Matters for the past 4 years. In capacity as a volunteer, peer supporter and now Trustee. Being in the fortunate position of being on the ground and also part of the business side of the trust allows me that inside perspective many are not privy too. Being on boards from the age of 16 I have had the ability to professionally grow across a range of fields. I am also very privileged to be of Ngai Tahu decent and have the lived experience of bereavement from suicide at a young age. If you see me around don’t be afraid to stop for a chat!!

Claudia

Administrator and Peer Supporter

Hey I'm Claudia! I am a postgraduate psychology student at the University of Otago. I've always enjoyed listening to other people's problems and I appreciate how uplifting it can be for others to talk to someone else about what is going on in their life. I love being a part of such an awesome team here at Life Matters and seeing the positive impact we have on individuals, as well as the community.

Macy

Peer Support Manager

Hey there! My name is Macy. I’m currently a student studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology at the University of Otago. I grew up in Dunedin so I'm a local to the area. I really enjoy helping others and being creative. I care a lot about mental health and have an interest in wellbeing. The work here is very rewarding and I enjoy being part of such a passionate team.

Jade

Administrator and Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Jade and I've just finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Originally from Vietnam, I decided to volunteer at the Hope Center to give back to the Dunedin community that has given me endless opportunities over these past 4 years. I believe that every member of the community can positively contribute to someone’s wellbeing & not just health professionals. I ultimately want to support others and help them navigate the mental health system and get the best care possible.


Bev

Peer Supporter

Hello, I'm Bev. I work for Campus Watch at the University of Otago. I've been with Life Matters from the beginning where I met Corinda and Denise. I'm passionate about mental health because I know things can change with a simple conversation.

Kip

Peer Supporter

Hello! My name is Kiply Macdonald. I'm a fifth year student at the University of Otago, studying psychology. I started volunteering for Life Matters because I'm passionate about the vision Corinda has: to achieve zero suicides in the mental health system in New Zealand.

Joy

Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Joy Larson. I am married and we have three boys. James and his partner live in Central Otago, and Matthew and his wife live in Scotland. Our first born son, Mark, died in Oct 2003. I worked in Education (Primary School) for over 25 years. 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 2020 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.

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 third 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 :)

Nicky

Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Nicky. I have been tutoring until recently, including working for Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi teaching their Kai Oranga (Healthy Food) kaupapa. This program focused on the positive wellbeing of the individual and their whanau, including their mental and spiritual wellbeing. Therefore, I am passionate about the support the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust offers when an individual’s wellbeing is being challenged or during a time of bereavement due to suicide. I myself, lost my 22 year old son Matthew in 2012 and it was virtually impossible to find support for this at the time and my mental wellbeing suffered as a result. Due to my life experiences I wish to support those that are also  affected by challenges to their mental wellbeing or by suicide. Training to be a Peer Supporter with Life Matters has given me an opportunity to ensure that others are not alone when things feel really bad.

Darshini

Peer Supporter

Hello, my name is Darshini. I’m currently a third year Psychology student at the University of Otago. I was born in Malaysia, but my family immigrated to New Zealand in 2009 and I’ve been living in Dunedin ever since. I started volunteering at Life Matters as a peer supporter because I’m passionate about mental health and hope to make a  positive impact on every Individual we support, here at Life Matters. I’m also hoping to pursue postgrad in Clinical Psychology after my undergraduate study.  


Tash

Peer Supporter

Ki ora my name is Tash. I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology and minoring in Economics at the University of Otago. I enjoy listening and learning about people's experiences with life, and how the world has impacted them. I believe in unashamed conversation around mental health, and that as humans we need to be allies, walking alongside each other in times of need. The work at the Hope centre enables countless opportunities to help my community and is a rewarding commitment.

Josie

Peer Supporter

Hey I'm Josie, and I'm a postgraduate student studying Psychology at the University of Otago. Aside from University, I also teach group fitness classes and pursue creative writing. I am super passionate about all things mental well-being, and I believe normalising conversation around mental health and support is key to breaking the associated stigmas. I've always felt like my main purpose in life has been to help others, and I instantly jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the wonderful Life Matters team. As a huge empath, I am here to provide a kind listening ear and aim to promote positive change. With a goal of pursuing a career in mental health, the vision behind Life Matters strongly resonates with me.

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.

Spook

Ambassador of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust

Hello I'm Spook and I'm the Life Matters main ambassador. I'm a big Great Dane who loves cuddles and pats. I also love to sing out the car window when we go on car rides. My Mum Colleen and I are incredibly honoured and proud to be part of such an incredibly important organisation.

Tasher

Ambassador of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust

Hello I'm Tasher! I love to visit the Hope Centre and come with Corinda to Life Matters events. I love the river and going for walks. I also love to feature on the Life Matters social media pages. I especially like meeting volunteers and people who fundraise or donate to the trust. We always have a good time!