Talking is what radio announcers do for a living.

But today, the Radio Hauraki team will stay silent to encourage others to make a noise about mental illness.

Their No Talk Day initiative focuses on men's mental health, although the message can be used by anyone to lift their mental wellbeing and support those they care about.

Today the Radio Hauraki team will stay silent to encourage others to make a noise about mental illness. Photo / Supplied
Today the Radio Hauraki team will stay silent to encourage others to make a noise about mental illness. Photo / Supplied

The unique collaboration with Triple M Australia, who ran a similar event, and joint initiative with Movember Foundation NZ, will see Radio Hauraki remove all ads, announcers, news, traffic and weather from 6am to 6pm to create space for listeners to talk.

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Advice, supported by organisations working in mental health, suggests that talking with someone or starting a conversation with someone you're concerned about can help.

The New Zealand Herald, like Radio Hauraki owned by NZME, is backing the message with the striking front-page of today's newspaper.

The Herald has long advocated for more open discussion about mental health, in the health sector and wider society. Its 2017 Break the Silence investigative series turned the spotlight on youth suicide, raised awareness at the highest levels and won local and international awards.

Suicide statistics in New Zealand remain grim. Provisional figures from the chief coroner released last August showed 668 Kiwis took their lives in the year to June 30, and 475 of these were men.

Movember NZ manager Robert Dunne said: "When Radio Hauraki approached us with this idea we were excited to be involved. As a charity addressing some of the biggest health challenges facing men, we know an initiative like this can create behavioural change with men which is so hard to do. If No Talk Day saves one man, it will be worthwhile."

Triple M Australia is heartened its initiative is resonating across the Tasman. Head of Triple M Network Mike Fitzpatrick said: "The widespread community support and feedback that Triple M Australia received from this important initiative was overwhelming.

The male suicide epidemic is not isolated by geography and we're so proud this idea has carried to our brothers and sisters across the Tasman. I applaud Radio Hauraki for shining a spotlight on the problem."

WHERE TO GET HELP:

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 111.

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If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.​