Four Kaitaia youth have been made ambassadors of a re-established youth suicide prevention group which has been "a long time waiting".
The Ngati Hine Health Trust have pulled together two members from their Kaitaia youth services team to co-ordinate the recently re-established Muriwhenua RAID - a Far North branch of a youth suicide prevention group originally established in Whangarei.
A Kaitaia branch of the group had existed, however the scheme, run under another group, dissolved after a lapse in funding.
Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, general manager of the NHHT, said there were always plans to re-establish a Far North branch of RAID, but after a series of suspected suicides in Kaitaia it needed to be fast-tracked.
Now four Kaitaia youth have been made ambassadors of the Muriwhenua group.
"It's great. They are still at school and they have good things to say about what they want for their community," she said.
Richard Hape, a co-ordinator of RAID Muriwhenua, said a Far North youth suicide prevention group was needed.
"I think it's been a long time waiting. There was a really big call from the community. The last three months there has been a big rise in attempted suicides and suicides. It's needed," he said.
Mr Hape said the four youth ambassadors were all Year 12 students from different Kaitaia schools.
"They've been touched by [suicide] in their own way and they feel strongly about wanting to do something," he said.
Ms Kapa-Kingi said the new ambassadors would be given training and while they were on the front line of the RAID, there were adults and clinical support staff on the second circle.
"They have got a qualified, quality machine sitting right on their shoulder," she said.
Mr Hape said there were plans for a launch of RAID Muriwhenua to take place after the New Year. He said if anyone would like to get in touch with the group, visit www.facebook.com/theraidmovement/.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.