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Saturday 10 September 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Health, National
Mereana Taikoko. 19090912
Everyone has a part to play in suicide prevention, says
a director of a local mental health group.
Director of Te Kainga
O Pa Taunga, Mereana Taikoko said the theme for this year’s World Suicide
Prevention Day was “creating hope through action”.
“All of us have a part to play in prevention, from my
own experience just a few words make a big difference,” Taikoko said.
“It makes them feel that somebody actually cares what
they’re going through.
“Our actions no matter how big or small provide hope
to those who are struggling.”
Since 2005, Taikoko said there have been 39 suicides
and 30 of those have been from men. Cook Islands did not report any suicide
cases this year.
Taikoko said November, December and January were
typically months with the highest rates of suicide in the Cook Islands.
She said this was when all the big events in the year were
“We have these habits of keeping a lot of our family reunions,
birthdays, weddings and leaving them to the end of the year.
“A lot of things go on during that time of year.”
Taikoko said she thought people should spread out the
events instead of leaving it all to the end of the year.
She said there was still a lot of people who did not
understand what mental health was in the country.
Taikoko said supporting people through mental health for
many meant helping people through worries and depression.
“It’s a common everyday problem.”
Taikoko asked people to wear yellow over the weekend
to support World Suicide Prevention Day.
She also encouraged people to make space for others to
“Just by asking how are you today? Are you ok? You
start the conversation.”
Cook Islands has recorded over two cases of suicides
each year on average since 2005. Taikoko said per capita, it was twice the rate
of New Zealand.
If you need support
for yourself or someone else, you can contact Te Kainga on 20162 or 50633.