Castlecliff local Junior Geros has come up with unique way to process the loss of his younger brother and provide a place for others to discuss mental health.
Geros is building a beach fire every Monday night where he invites others in the community to share food and discuss any problems they may be dealing with.
After posting about his weekly fires on local Facebook groups, Geros said he had a "massive response" from members of the community with people already contacting him to be involved.
"I grew up in a foster home and luckily they showed me love, which was something I never knew about before, I just knew 'go hard or go home'," Geros said.
"I'm trying to share that love and care that I was shown with someone else, even if it's just one person.
"That's the whole idea of these bonfires really, it's about leaving a light on for the darkness."
Geros said he felt that depression and anxiety "really thrived" in people between the ages of 13 and 25 and that it was something he had battled with for most of his life.
"There have been days in the past where I thought about taking my own life, and I've come really close, but to have so much positive feedback from people about what I'm doing down here, it makes me feel really humble, and I'll aways keep that light burning.
"My philosophy is, if I can tell one person that today is a good day, and I'm glad that I met you, and hopefully we can be friends in the future, then that's all that matters.
"You can't change everyone's lives, but maybe you can change one person's outlook for the day."
Geros said he was originally from Kaitaia, a small town where it wasn't easy to talk about mental health and depression.
"It's almost like a shame thing, and it's really hard for me to see people who are dealing with things like that.
"I feel like I have to be proactive and start conversations, otherwise I fail within myself and I don't get to learn or help other people with their grief.
"It is okay to talk, and you don't have to a tough guy or a staunch guy to deal with mental health issues, you have to be happy in yourself for the decisions you've made."
Geros said he and his younger brother were fostered at 5 and 6 and they were put in separate homes
"He was a good man, and a really hard worker, but unfortunately he struggled a lot with depression and anxiety, and feeling alone.
"He did a bad thing and spent nine years in jail, where he became a patched up gang member.
"I was against it, but in some sense I could understand what he was doing, he was trying to find something that he'd lost, something that had been taken away from us when we were young.
"He seemed to take life by the horns when he left prison, and he met his partner and started his own business down in Christchurch.
"I'm not 100 per cent sure what was going on at the point when he took his life, but that fear of being alone might have played a part in it."
Geros said he was currently living with a child mentor and he wanted to "hitch his waka" to the work that they were already doing in Whanganui.
"I don't want to do 25 pushups for 25 days, I want to get out there and talk to a kid if I think they look down.
"We judge people too harshly I think, and maybe back in the day I could have said something like 'what the hell are you crying for?'"
"It's only now that I've changed my way of thinking I'd go and ask them if everything was alright, or how they're feeling."
For more information on Junior Geros' Monday night beach fires in Castlecliff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 police immediately on 111. Or if you need to talk to someone else:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (Mon-Fri 1pm to 10pm. Sat-Sun 3pm-10pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans: 0800 726 666