Bereaved father urges the govt to refocus on suicide

By Tema Hemi

A father whos daughter committed suicide in 2015 is urging the government to focus more on teen suicide issues.  Sydney Kyle Purewa was joined by many other families who marched to parliament today to call for change. 

Purewa says, "She was a very proud young girl, especially within our own family.   She was good, she was strong, but all of that has been lost to us now.  Her brothers will take a stand for her today."

Suicide is now the leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 19 in New Zealand. 

Social media icon Nicola 'Nix' Adams is currently touring the country to raise suicide awareness.  She uses different platforms to get her message across.  

Adams says, "There's not enough counseling.  Children that are struggling, they're having to wait for weeks- they need that now...we need a lot more health resources like that, for the children."

 Mongrel Mob member Coey Rogue has been helping Adams with her suicide awareness campaign. 

"Suicide does not discriminate," says Rogue, "It knows no colour, it knows no gender, it doesn't care if you're rich, it doesn't care if you're poor. Suicide affects everybody, all walks of life."

 Every year around 500 New Zealanders take their own lives. 

"My plea to all our families out there to think, What do I have to do?  What is it that you need to do for your children and grandchildren to look after them?" says Kiritahi Firmin of Kimiora Trust. 

For those who have lost loved ones, the hope is to prevent others from going through the same grief.

"Forever, everyday of my life, my heart will always mourn," says Purewa.