Popular social media icon Nicola 'Nix' Adams says health providers need to do a lot more to connect with people if they want to save lives.
She's been touring the country, sharing stories via her social media page, Cooked Whanau Korero with Nix, ahead of the Teen Suicide Awareness March to parliament.
“A lot of people suffer from anxiety which stops them from going out, to reach out to these external resources...they are able to tap into motivation and people on social media from the comfort of their own home,” says Adams.
Her current New Zealand tour aims to attract interest through interviews with individuals who have suffered within the system. She says health providers aren't doing enough.
“There's not actually too many external resources that families can tap into. If there are then they don't know where to find them.”
Her campaign has gained a huge following, among them people who have been victims of substance abuse or had a past gang life. They feel comfortable sharing their stories with Nix based on her own past experience.
“When you hear that someone has been through that, immediately there is that connection, that moment of familiarity. I think that's why they're so comfortable.”
The Teen Suicide Awareness March to parliament is on 6 May. Every year around 500 New Zealanders take their own lives.
“The organiser for this entire march is Pania Marsh. This is her kaupapa and myself and Kawi are there to back her one hundred percent...I want to utilise my platform for issues for New Zealanders that are relevant and teenage suicide is definitely one of them.”
If you or anyone in you know is need of assistance please visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz or contact any of the organisations listed below.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666