Suicide is a silent epidemic in New Zealand, with up to 15 people a week taking their lives.
Another 250,000 New Zealanders will have thought about taking their lives this year and, added to that, are the many New Zealanders who will be affected by the death of a loved one by his or her own hand.
Last year, Kaiwhaiki woman Kiritahi Takiari started Kimiora-a-Lifeline, a charitable trust that grew out of a need to give immediate help to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, abuse, and mental health issues.
Since it started, the growth has been fast, with branches and co-ordinators throughout the country, and a branch now in Australia.
Ms Takiari went on to become an applied suicide intervention skills trainer for the Asist programme and co-ordinated suicide prevention training.
She is now in a merger discussion with Lifeline Aotearoa to set up a Wanganui office in a couple of months, offering counselling and other services.
Ms Takiari says there are many reasons people take their lives.
"It happens to anyone, at any time and anywhere. To help prevent suicide and intervene, family and friends need to be able to see and be watchful of signs and triggers for the person at risk."
Ms Takiari said those risks could be a loss of someone or something - a job, a spouse - or an event that triggered a traumatic memory packed away in the mind.
"There are signs that people at risk of suicide will show, which is why family and friends must be open to see and acknowledge."
Those signs could be giving away possessions, becoming an introvert or extrovert, drinking more, promiscuity, taking drugs or being clingy.
The person will also say certain things: "I'm just so over it all", "I'm tired", "I don't care any more" or "I'm not sure if you'll see me next year."
"What's most important is that family, friends and colleagues don't discount these comments by saying things like 'Stop being stupid' or 'Snap out of it ... man up'," Ms Takiari said. They must ask the person: "Are you thinking of suicide, are you wanting to take your life?"
She explained: "Most times we find it hard to ask, but it is important and vital that we do. If we aren't clear in asking this life-saving question, that person will continue to be at risk.
"Once this is ascertained, then prevention can take place and the person can be helped."
How do you turn someone back from thoughts of suicide?
"We teach in our programmes that the caregiver needs to listen to their reasons for dying; why and what has brought them to their present state of mind.
"The reason for this is that they are unpacking and getting rid of what's been bottled up inside.
"Talking about the past in the present puts things in a better perspective. All those things happened in the past, and it is time to move on."
Ms Takiari says the Asist programme is "suicide first aid".
"A trained Asist person gives CPR skills to the person at risk until an ambulance comes."
She is calling for social service providers to upskill their staff with suicide first aid skills.
"We need to roll out the Asist programme, or any suicide intervention programme, and make it accessible for anyone to take part. It needs to be funded at no cost for family and the community groups."