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Hundreds of shoes to be placed on Parliament steps

9 September 2017 6:46 PM
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Hundreds of shoes to be placed on Parliament steps

Over 600 shoes will be placed on the steps of Parliament today for World Suicide Prevention Day.

Each pair represents a New Zealander lost to suicide in the last year.

The shoes have popped up in 20 communities across the country since the end of last month.

Supporter Jane Stevens lost her son two years ago. She's travelled with the shoes throughout the North Island and said it's been good to help others in her situation.

"One of the most amazing experiences of my life. There's a lot of people out there hurting, it's a pretty lonely place to be, and actually being able to share stories with other whanau has been hugely healing."

She said they're asking for an independent inquiry, a zero suicide target and adequate funding and staffing for mental health services.

Meanwhile, The New Zealand Association of Counsellors is calling for more counsellors in schools across the country.

It also wants counsellors in primary and intermediate schools for early intervention.

President Bev Weber said young people are under a huge amount of pressure.

"With some young people resilience is not a strong point. I don't think, really, that a person can be too young to be helped to build resilience for themselves."

She said people need to prioritise their mental health, regularly visit GPs and not be afraid to ask for professional help.


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