Community News and Events
What's up and what's on in Wellington, Porirua, and the Hutt Valley!
Hopewalk Wellington 2017
Kāpiti resident Shaun McNeil is the Wellington Area Champion leading this free event, which takes place at The Dell in the Wellington Botanic Garden on Saturday 9th September at 11.30 am.
Hopewalk is a community suicide prevention and awareness movement which gives individuals, families, and communities affected by suicide, a place to connect with others at annual community events. Walks have already taken place in many cities, including Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Wellington’s event will have relevant speeches and live music prior to the walks.
Hopewalk also serves to highlight the existing organisations and agencies that provide suicide prevention, intervention and postvention support, so they are particularly welcome to attend.
Hopewalk founder Joseph Fa’ afiu comments:
"This movement is about giving people a voice, which they are told by society they can't have because its taboo, an unspoken topic. We need to break the shame, stigma and silence around suicide - it starts and ends with us. We need to remember that we are talking about people, not numbers on a piece of paper!"
Shaun says: “September 9th and 10th is a significant weekend. The 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and there will be other events taking place in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and indeed around the World, to highlight the important issue of suicide. Here, we have the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world and almost 75% of our overall suicide deaths are men. This has to change.”
Shaun has worked and volunteered in mental health for 30 years. He also has a lived experience of mental distress and a past history of surviving suicide attempts. He is currently involved in advising the Ministry of Health on their National Suicide Prevention Strategy for the coming decade.
His wife, Shona, delivers suicide prevention training and support groups through the community hub Te Ara Korowai in Raumati, and she is helping to manage the event on 9th September.
She advises: “Everyone is welcome to put on something yellow (the colour of suicide prevention) and come along to support the first Hopewalk Wellington, however they may have been impacted by this issue. It is an ideal time to show the politicians and public how important the impact of suicide is and for us all in communities to stand strong together to stem the tide of tragic losses.”
Volunteers to help out are welcome-please contact: email@example.com
Taku Hikoi, La'u MaLaga: My footprint, my walk, my journey
21 July - 20 August 2017
“Life is a journey, filled with a number of different paths, routes and destinations. These paths are all experienced on an individual basis to which we each bring our own skills and specialties, hopes and dreams, pace and style.”
Artworks created by mental health inpatients will show at Porirua’s Pātaka Art + Museum for a month from 21 July.
Entitled 'Taku hikoi; La’u Malaga, my footprint, my walk, my journey'; the free exhibition in the Bottle Creek Gallery will include sculptures, tape art and ceramic pieces.
It will showcase the talents of a number of clients of the combined mental health, addictions and disability services of the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast DHBs. The works will also provide some insight into the experience of recovery from acute mental illness.
Making art is a recognised aide to recovery for many people who have experienced mental illness. The artists, who have been preparing for the exhibition for many months, have been tutored by Debbie Pointon, a well-known Raumati South artist. Their feedback on Debbie’s tutelage and the opportunity to create and show artwork like this has been overwhelming positive.
This is the second exhibition of clients from this service work at Pātaka. The first, held in 2014, was well attended and met positively by the local community.
A number of the artworks will be for sale and the exhibition runs until 20 August.