On a bad day Toni Ryan blames herself for the death of her much-loved teenage son, Samuel.

On a good day she knows what is to blame - "mental illness".

The 16-year-old Masterton lad took his own life in June, 2011, leaving his family grieving for the life that could have been.

Tomorrow, Mrs Ryan and other parents of youth who have taken their own lives, will be out on the street giving away colourful LifeSaver bracelets, with messages of encouragement aimed at prompting those who are feeling suicidal to seek help and, for those who suspect someone is feeling low, to support them.


The group will be in the alleyway next to PaperPlus on Queen St between 3pm and 5pm when they will head to Henley Lake to put flowers in the lake in memory of loved ones who have taken their own life.

Mrs Ryan has made about 1000 of the bracelets, slotted into a tiny plastic bag with messages attached including "don't be afraid" and things to remember, such as "I am worthy of all good things life has to offer", "I am valuable beyond measure", "and I am perfect ... end of story". There are also links to websites where people can seek help.

"It's about honouring our kids. I just hope it's a message which will encourage people to talk and to seek help ... far too many of our kids are taking their own lives. We need to do something."

Suicide was preventable, people just needed to open up and keep those lines of communication going, she said.

"[Suicide] is the most preventable of all serious illnesses ... we need to keep talking ... it is so preventable," she said.

Mrs Ryan is also involved with a support group for those who have lost children or a loved one to suicide.

She and other parents would like other people, especially youth, to join them at Henley Lake tomorrow following the street give-away about 5.30pm where they will be dropping flowers into the lake in memory of children or a loved one.

"I think it's important to remember ... to take time to remember."


If you would like to join the support group or find out more please call Mrs Ryan on (06) 370 2484. More information can be found on the official Facebook page World Suicide Prevention Day 2013.