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Yesterday we went into the community of Glen Innes

Following a spate of youth suicides and an outpouring of grief by the friends of the young people who died, we were invited into this community. They asked us to give them information on suicide in Maori and Pasific communities, effective Tikanga based prevention strategies and talk from our experience about how best to support those bereaved by suicide.

The advice they had been given by the Ministry of Health didn't sit comfortably but they wanted to evaluate the evidence underpinning a Tikanga approach before choosing to reject the advice of the Ministry.

Casper Know the Facts Tour

Last night Deb and I arrived back at my place after three and a half weeks on tour around the North Island. During that time we delivered 8 free community information presentations, did three radio interviews, put up displays in three libraries and ran an information booth at a hospital.

Our message is simple - suicide is a social, not a mental health issue. Its prevention requires a change to the social environment not treatment of mentally ill individuals. Sociology not psychiatry is the key to suicide prevention.

Know the Fact About Suicide Tour- Hamilton to Kawerau

On the road has been a hugley moving time in all dimensions of the word. We begun finally on the 15th April in Hamilton. We hired a room attatched to the library a short distance from the town centre. At 48 hrs notice we got 9 attendies and had a lively debate and a marriage proposal (almost!) by an amourous admirer. All part of a day in the office of CASPER.We gave Margrete Dead Wrong but she forgot to take it!

Gold Standard for Evidence?

Last night I spent time with one of our Casper mums who is studying sociology at university. We spent the evening discussing the difference between empirical theoretical and applied approaches to sociology. On the drive from Wellington to New Plymouth today, my thoughts turned to the differences between what happens in research studies and in the real world and the frustration so many of us feel when the real life suicides of our loved ones are discounted as being inconsistent with the results of randomised controlled trials on the drugs that we know caused their deaths.

Tide Turning Against Labelling and Drugging Kids

Remember the days when a child who ran excitedly between the playdough table, the sandpit and the dress up corner was seen as a curious, interessted learner who was participating in all the learning experiences made available to him or her? That child is now ADHD and at risk of teen pregnancy, incarceration, illegal drug use and a host of other harms.

Remember when the young adult who held alternative views and had a strong vision of an alternative future was seen as original, forward thinking and gifted? That young person is now schizophrenic and a danger to him/her self and others.

Easter in Taumarunui

Deb and I are sitting in McDonalds in Taumarunui using the free wi-fi. Casper now has 1,055 members. Many of them are people like those we have met over the past week in Whakatane,Rotorua and Taupo. People for whom holidays like Easter are times of sadness and grief due to the absence of a loved one who suicided.

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