Hope Centre

The Hope Centre is a place of hope to visit if you need support, helps you navigate Mental Health services or advocacy.

It’s a welcome place where our peer supporters promise to listen to you and to ensure you connect with good support. Our wonderful peer supporters are trained in peer support and want to help you in any way they can, so don't be afraid to make an appointment. Come and have a chat over a cuppa and some kai.

63 Hanover Street, Dunedin.

We are open for Peer Support from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday. Our Crisis Café hours are 1pm-9pm each Thursday.

Book Appointmentabout peer supportAre you in crisis?

Peer Support at Te Whare Tūmanako

Peer Support is about people connecting with others over shared experiences, and building respectful and mutual relationships. It is also about validation of their experience of mental distress, social change and tino rangatiratanga/self-determination.

Within the context of Te Whare Tūmanako/Hope Centre, Peer Support is a process where a person with lived experience of mental health is trained to listen, understand, and walk alongside others who are also experiencing mental health.

Peer Supporters at Life Matters are trained to follow the Intentional Peer Support (IPS) model , while incorporating Māori models of health such as Te Whare Tapa Wha , which encourages mutuality, respect, self-determination, transparency and intentionality. They are trauma-informed, and trained to ask what is happening for someone instead of what is wrong with them. Life Matters is proudly non-clinical – Peer Support is about walking beside someone as they decide what they want their life to look like and how they want to get there. Whānau ora is an important aspect of Peer Support at Life Matters as well, and guests are encouraged by their Peer Supporters to define who is in their
whānau and incorporate them in their plans for wellness.

Alongside all of this training IPS and the incorporation of Whānau Ora, Peer Supporters at Te Whare Tūmanako are also trained to be aware of diverse needs. We have volunteers with lived experience of immigration, addictions, being from priority groups (a preferred term to minority groups), Te Ao Māori and Te Tiriti O Waitangi, neurodivergence, disability, and so much more. Peer Support is a space to learn from others, which means being open to and understanding of differences as well as
seeing those differences as strengths. Peer Supporters are encouraged to consider what is happening for their guests in terms of Te Whare Tapa Wha – considering their spiritual, mental/emotional, physical, and social health as part of their overall wellness.

Ultimately, Peer Support is something that can enhance wellbeing and complement other services and supports someone might need in order to reach hauora/wellness. It does not replace clinical intervention for people struggling with their mental health – rather it can provide people with
another safe space that can bridge time between appointments and offer a different perspective on their experiences.

Someone at risk?

If you feel suicidal or someone you know could have suicidal thoughts, please get help immediately. You don’t have to go through this alone. There are many people willing to help.

In Crisis?

Are you concerned about someone?

If you or someone you know is not feeling well, please reach out for help.


Concerned About Someone?

Bereavement Support

Bereavement support group Dunedin

This is a group for people bereaved by suicide. It is taken by trained facilitators and supported by the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. The meetings take place at our Hope Centre, 63 Hanover, Dunedin, New Zealand on:

  • Every first Tuesday of the month (except for January)
  • The group runs from 5.30pm to 7pm

It is a friendly coffee group atmosphere.

Bereavement support online

If you would like to join our online Life Matters Suicide Bereavement Support Group which provides peer support, please contact us via our Facebook page. Group protocols as decided by participants.


A suicide prevention workshop for everyone

Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources.

Our safeTALK trainers, Corinda Taylor, Jade Mitchell and Carolyn McMillan deliver workshops on suicide prevention, teaching how to recognise suicide warning signs. If you want to learn more about suicide prevention please feel free to contact us for a workshop. They also can come and deliver the workshop at your workplace or community group.

Education around suicide is important and can save lives.

​If you are serious about making a difference in New Zealand please register for our next workshop in suicide alertness training and become a suicide alert helper. If you would like to organise one of our popular workshops please do not hesitate to contact us.

GP’s (Royal NZ College of GP’s endorsement), DAPAANZ and Midwifery points are accredited for this 3.5-hour training.

If you want to book a safeTALK workshop for your workplace or organisation, or make an inquiry for more information, please fill in the form below. Alternatively, you can also email us at contact@lifematters.org.nz

Complete the form below or email us at contact@lifematters.org.nz and we’ll get back to you with details of safeTALK courses.

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How suicide affects you

Emotional reactions

You may experience disturbances in your thinking and behaviour, as well as the following emotions:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Anguish, longing and searching
  • Anger, guilt, relief and shame
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Despair, depression and sadness

Shock and disbelief

These will often be the first reactions.  In many cases, the suicide was not expected or there was little warning.  You may feel dazed and numb and you may have nightmares.  These are normal results of shock.“My world fell apart when my gentle, beautiful son died.  The shock was immense.  I cannot find the words to describe these moments… nothing made sense”You may also feel disorientated and out of touch with the world around you.“I walk down the street and nothing seems real, including myself.”

Read More

Anguish, longing and searching

You may have a desperate longing, not just to see the person again but to sort out whatever problems they were having and change the outcome for them.  You find yourself searching for them and thinking that you see or hear them.  You may find yourself behaving in ways which appear odd to outsiders but which help you to feel close to the person who died.

Read More


This is a common response to bereavement.  You may be angry with yourself because you feel that you should have realised there was a problem or that you could have acted differently.  You may be angry with others and this can take the form of blame – there is a danger of tormenting yourself if you pursue this.  You may also feel angry with the person who died.“I feel so guilty when I get angry with you and I do get angry with you.  Angry for the way you made me feel.  Angry for the way my life has changed since you died.  Angry with you for leaving.  Angry with you for so many things – none of which is truly your fault.”

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You may feel guilty about things you believe that you could or should have done, or about your feelings about the death.  Those bereaved by suicide are plagued by thoughts of “if only…”  Very often it can be some time before we realise that the decision the person made was a result of many factors and that the apparent reason for their decision was just the last in a long series of events.

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When the person who died was known to have had a troubled or unhappy life or made repeated suicide attempts, it is common for relief to be mixed in with other emotions that we feel.  It can be difficult to admit this to ourselves and, when we do, we feel guilty about it.  It is, however, a natural reaction. We are relieved not that the person’s life is over but that they are no longer suffering and those constant threats of suicide or other destructive acts will not happen again.

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Some survivors feel ashamed because they feel that the suicide has branded them as, say, a bad parent, sister or partner in eyes of the community. This feeling of shame is often made worse by the stigma still attached to suicide and may be intensified if we isolate ourselves from people who we fear will blame or judge us.

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Despair and depression

Following a bereavement by suicide, the constant swings of emotion, the never-ending questioning, the physical pain and lack of sleep all have an effect and you may need to consult your doctor. The pain you experience may be so intense that you find yourself having thoughts about taking your own life – you must seek help if you have these thoughts, get support from your doctor. Don’t delay.

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This is one of the most common feelings.  It is natural to cry but it is also quite normal for some of us not to do this as we were brought up not to show our feelings. Men typically cry less than women but this is not always the case.“There were days when I could feel myself going downhill with no brakes and all I could do was shut myself in my bedroom and howl.”Grief can also affect sexual feelings and this can become a source of conflict between partners and lead to a greater sense of isolation.

Read More

Physical reactions

You may experience some or all of the following physical sensations:

You should be aware of any physical symptoms and consult with your doctor if they persist over a long period of time as they may lead to a more serious physical condition.

  • Hollow or twisting pain in the stomach
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tightness and pain in the throat
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Breathlessness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of energy


The death of another person by suicide can be traumatic. You may find yourself experiencing recurring nightmares or flashbacks. You may even be imagining what happened. Flashbacks are very distressing and can be symptoms of post traumatic stress.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. You should speak with your GP if you are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress. Whilst antidepressant medication may be prescribed, you may feel that these are not appropriate to your needs and you may want to explore an intervention such as psychological therapy.

For more information about post traumatic stress, its symptoms and treatment, click here.

This section has been largely reproduced from Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (UK), with their kind permission. We would like, especially, to mention its author John Peters. For more information about how suicide affects you and others, please don’t hesitate to click here.