Posted by Lynne Guy
At the lunch time meeting on Thursday 18th, we welcomed Denise Kent and Carolyn McMillan to speak about Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. 
This was initiated seven years ago by Corinda Taylor following the death of her son. She called a public meeting to gauge interest in setting up some form of support after finding the mental health “system” sadly lacking. These efforts snowballed and resulted in a petition to parliament, eventually culminating in the Mental Health Inquiry which reported to Parliament in December 2018 with a predicted outcome and report from the Health Minister in April or May of this year.
    The Life Matters Suicide Prevention Charitable Trust was set up just over five years ago. Its achievements so far include setting up the Hope Centre in Albion Place, a place to access peer support and receive help navigating the mental health system. Subsidised psychotherapy is also available. The organisation has a “Life Matters” vehicle subsidised by Dunedin City Mazda and can now attend meetings and schools outside of Dunedin. Life Matters is aiming to have a retreat where people can go as an alternative to DHB mental health services. 
    Life Matters overall aim is to reduce suicide rates which are ever increasing. One person in the SDHB catchment area dies every week to suicide. Of those that die about 50% had contact with services. We have had 6,200 deaths in the last 10 years. This is the population of Balclutha! Stuart Melville presented Denise and Carolyn with a cheque for $4,050 on behalf of our club which comes from the proceeds from Circus Quircus. 
    Denise and Carolyn thanked us and explained that this would help with funding for 
    • the Bereavement Support Group that meets twice a month in the Hope Centre, 
    • sending people to “Safe Talk” for training and buying resources, and 
    • subsidising therapists for the centre.