By: Stephanie Arthur-Worsop

Te Rina West was one of the Rotorua rangatahi involved in the project.

“It’s time to talk.”

That is the message 10 Rotorua rangatahi (young people) are preaching in a mental health awareness video that has gone viral.

The video has garnered hundreds of comments and more than 2000 shares since it was posted on social media on Monday, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week.

The youth, all in their first year out of high school, sent videos of themselves explaining that in order to improve New Zealand’s suicide and mental health record, the issue needs to be talked about openly.

Alongside Rotorua youth, Maori social media stars including That Cuzzy Terewai, Jah Cuzzy and Tuturu Maori, also took part in the project.

The driver behind the idea, Rotorua’s Te Mahara Swanson Hall, said mental health and suicide was an issue important to all those who took part in the video.

“It was something I wanted to do last year but we were all in Year 13 and ran out of time. Two weeks ago we decided to do it and started working on what we wanted our key message to be.

“We are all in different cities now for uni and stuff so I sent the script out and got everyone to record their video which was then edited together.

“I was stoked with how well it turned out and it’s kind of gone off online which is really cool. We just wanted to get our message out there and really push people to understand it’s okay to talk if you’re struggling and New Zealand will listen.”

She said the feedback the group had received since the video was posted had been incredible.

“There’s been a lot of positive comments and people willing to start a conversation which is the effect we were aiming for.

“I think our video has spoken to people because we’re not just officials promising to make it better. We are young people who have come face to face with mental health issues and losing people to suicide, and want to help out others.

“Who better to combat the issue of youth suicide than the youth facing it?”

Rotorua youth involved:
Awatea Leach
Wiremu Williams
Kuratea Broughton
Bailey Morrison
Jordyn Tereu
Sherrick Martin
Te Kaiamo Okeroa Rogers
Tiana Low
Te Rina West
Kiriwaitingi Rei

Social media stars involved:
Raniera Rewiri
Te Haunui Tuna
Te Wai Coulston
That Cuzzy Terewai
Jah Cuzzy
Tuturu Maori
Josie & T


If you are worried about your or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm-11pm)
DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
OUTLINE: 0800 688 5463 (confidential service for the LGBTQI+ community, their friends and families)

Source: Rotorua Daily Post


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