New Zealand has an appalling rate of suicide. The NZ government have, in the past, drafted in apparent experts to help ease the [on average] 11 suicides per week in New Zealand.
They have failed miserably.
So, how can readers of this blog make a difference?
CASPER present information and practical strategies to help families and communities understand suicide and what they can do to prevent it and providing peer support to bereaved families.
CASPER has never had a suicide in the families they have supported and recent figures show decreases of up to 20% in suicides in the groups they target.
CASPER does not accept government funding, a decision CASPER made when they were founded.
To continue down this successful route CASPER need the help of the public. Here's CASPER CEO Maria Bradshaw:
CASPER is run by families who have lost children, spouses, parents and other family members to suicide. As awareness of suicide increases, so does demand for CASPER services. Every day we receive phone calls from newly bereaved families needing to talk to someone who has experienced suicide loss, advice on how to talk to children about the suicide of a sibling and preparing their case for inquest. It is a sad fact that suicide most often occurs in the home and families are those first on the scene. The trauma of this renders many barely able to function and CASPER is always there to help. We also receive calls from families concerned that a loved one may be at risk of suicide. We work with families, often over years to supporting them with information and practical assistance to create family environments that protect against suicide. Recently, after a segment on television's Seven Sharp programme showcasing CASPER's Natural Helpers programme, we have been inundated with requests to train businesses on how to support and refer those bereaved by suicide and those who are facing suicide risk. With 1.8 full time equivalent staff, CASPER needs to urgently produce training DVDs to meet this demand. With your help, we can create communities free of suicide and prevent other families suffering the loss of a loved one to suicide. Every cent helps and we are grateful for donations of any amount.
I, and I'm sure CASPER, would be eternally grateful if readers could pledge to this worthy cause. I know times are hard but imagine how harder they would be if YOU lost a family member or friend to suicide.
You don't just have to be a New Zealand resident to pledge to this very important, life-saving cause.
Wherever you are and whatever your donation, you will be making a huge difference.