A free community suicide prevention session is coming to Whanganui and organisers are hoping to make it a regular thing.

The sessions will teach people how to recognise the key suicide warning signs in themselves or other people.

Neil Boyd and Kiritahi Firmin are facilitating the training sessions on a voluntary basis and Mr Boyd said between the pair both a Maori and Pakeha perspective would be catered for.

The first training session is being held at the end of the month and all going well it will become a monthly event.


Suicide took a toll on the community but was preventable, Mr Boyd said.

"There are many services and supports available in the community.

"And we want to promote the idea that everyone can help to save a life by being the eyes and ears to suicide warning signs among those they know and referring anyone they are concerned about to services and support."

The sessions would be open to anyone whether they felt they needed it or not.

"It's open to the community really and I think it's a good idea for people to come along and learn the process and some of the key messages that could actually identify (warning signs)," Mr Boyd said.

"You can pick up things, changes in behaviour, lots of little things."

There was a huge need in the community for such training courses, he said.

"I used to be a manager of Victim Support and we had a big need then and it hasn't really changed much.

"There's a lot of people walking around the streets of Whanganui wondering why they didn't heed the signs they saw."

The first free community suicide prevention training is being held on July 28 from 7pm to 9pm at Education House, 249 Victoria Ave. For further information call Neil on 343 1677.