Synod presentation spurs mental health action

This story contains mention of suicide, and may be distressing for some readers.
If you would like help, you may like to talk and pray with a trusted friend or minister, or you may find the support of one of the following organisations helpful.

  • Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • The Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
  • Healthline 0800 611 611
  • Samaritans (0800 726 666)
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 (24/7), free text 234 8am-12am, or email
  • (for young people, free text 5626)
  • (for adults, free text 4202)
  • What’s Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children’s helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends)
  • Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)
  • Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
  • Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 


In this Synod Hotspot, Rev Jennie Sim and Megan Devine from our Newlands-Paparangi whānau share about the actions they took following last year’s presentation on mental health from Tricia Hendry and Diana Langdon.  The parish vestry started by establishing a mental health support noticeboard at St Michael’s in Newlands, then worked with a suicide researcher from Victoria University of Wellington to create a community seminar, looking at ways they could create community resilience after suicide.  The community identified a need for a support group for those bereaved by suicide, and then was able to work with a victim support advisor to facilitate such a group.

Watch their hotspot presentation here:

From Rev Jennie Sim:

The Suicide Loss Support Group that meets in Newlands is open for anyone – if you have someone who needs a group now, feel free to send them along. As mentioned in the video, if you are interested in doing something in your area, we recommend using those with expertise to guide any local efforts – you don’t need to be experts, but it makes sense to know and use the experts.  Those referred to include Dr Chris Bowden, Victoria University (; Shelley Brunskill-Matson ( and Tricia Hendry ( If you would like further information, please contact me on

Dr Chris Bowden lecture, 23rd October 2019: Working in the void: suicide, suffering, trauma, and transformation

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