Lives Worth Living
A big part of Lives Worth Living is helping people to build strength and resilience so they have the skills to bounce back when things in their life might not be great.
Formed by Safer Mid Canterbury, it is a suicide prevention and post-vention response service for the Mid Canterbury region. The programme is run by a highly experienced mental health clinician and a community health promoter who work with people on their journey through loss and provide education about suicide prevention.
Collaboration with other local and regional agencies is an important part of their work. The Lives Worth Living team have worked alongside Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB); Ashburton and Rural Health Services; Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drug Service (ACADS); Ashburton District Council; Ashburton Senior Citizens Inc; Comcare Trust; Fire and Emergency New Zealand; Hakatere Marae; He Waka Tapu; Hype Youth Health Centre; Mid Canterbury Principals’ Association; Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust; Mount Hutt College; New Zealand Police; Pegasus Health; Presbyterian Support Upper South Island; Safer Mid Canterbury; St John; Waitaha Primary Health; and Oranga Tamariki.
Together, a five year strategic plan for Mid Canterbury has been developed to guide wraparound support for individuals and whānau affected by suicide in the district.
Special acknowledgment to Dr. Annette Beautrais for her ongoing support of Lives Worth Living and the development of the Suicide Prevention: Simple Skills for Workplaces and Communities resource for Mid Canterbury.
Lives Worth Living gratefully acknowledges the generous support from community funders.
Lives Worth Living was developed in response to a growing need in the Mid Canterbury community for a service dedicated to suicide prevention and postvention. The service works closely with Pegasus Health to provide support for people and whānau affected by suicide.
Lives Worth Living takes into account the high number of Māori suffering as a result of suicide. We are proud to work alongside Māori leaders and adhere to culturally appropriate advice to help prevent suicide, under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Our team has decades of experience in community and clinical settings.
What to do in an emergency
Lives Worth Living is not a front-line mental health service. In an emergency:
Free call or text 1737 anytime for support from a trained counsellor.
Free call 0800 222 955 for the Ashburton Community Psychiatric Service Team for a mental health or suicide crisis.
Call 111 for a mental health or suicide emergency.
Paul (Pup) Chamberlain - Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Pup has worked in health promotion in Mid Canterbury for more than four years, following 38 years as a police officer. During his time with the Police, he spent 24 years in education, which included training other Police officers at the Royal NZ Police College. He was also the National Director of Training for Dare to support your kids.
Pup was awarded a Merit Award from the New Zealand Police for his work in education and training. He has also completed a Bachelor of Adult Education, a Certificate in Law Education, and a Certificate in Life Coaching.
A role in developing Lives Worth Living appealed to Pup’s love of working with people and wanting to make a difference in the community. Having seen many people affected by suicide throughout his policing career, Pup says every life is precious.
“Working in the area of suicide prevention gives people the ability to recognise their own strengths and is a top of the cliff approach to help lessen the workload of the mental health system,” he says.
Pup says that suicide prevention work gives people the tools to help themselves and to help others, such as having conversations with people that they are concerned about. “It’s like the first aid of mental health, helping to keep people mentally fit and less likely to need to access overstretched services.”
One of the things Pup enjoys about his job is helping to reduce the stigma around asking for help and not being scared to have a conversation with someone. “Teaching people how to have those conversations without embarrassing yourself or others helps us to be a more caring community. When you notice changes in a person it’s important to be able to have a chat with them, and know where to get help, whether that’s offering to visit the GP with them or supporting them to talk with a counsellor by phoning or texting 1737.”
Pup is available to speak at events, workplaces or meetings and can also provide suicide prevention workshops. This service is provided for free, however a koha/donation to help cover the cost of resources is greatly appreciated.
In 2023, Pup was a recipient of a LifeKeepers Award, which recognises contributions to suicide prevention.
Connie Quigley - Suicide Prevention Contractor
Connie has more than 26 years of experience as a mental health clinician, both in management and clinical roles in primary and secondary health services. She is originally from Ireland and moved to New Zealand with her family in 2012.
Connie runs the Oceans and Waves programmes for people affected by suicide.
Suicide prevention is just like first aid - we have a responsibility to care for each other.
Lives Worth Living is able to provide general talks, training and information for groups, clubs and workplaces. These are free of charge and designed to meet the needs of the people involved. Smaller or regular workshops can also be arranged.
Information will be presented in a professional manner, using current best practise guidelines by a trained facilitator.
Topics that can be covered include:
- Looking after ourselves and others
- Good sleep habits
- Screen time
- What is myth and fact about suicide
- Common mental health problems
- Alcohol and other drugs
- What signs to look for in at risk people
- How to ask about suicide
- How to get help for yourself or someone you know
- Communicating with people bereaved by suicide
- Helplines, apps and other support and resources
All Lives Worth Living workshops include an excellent workbook developed with the guidance of Doctor Annette Beautrais.
We offer several different workshops and can also speak at your organisation, business or event.
Workshop topics include:
- Suicide prevention
- Five Ways To Wellbeing
- How to ask about suicide or talk with someone you are concerned about
- Self care safety plans
- The importance of good sleep
- Suicide prevention in the workplace
- Suicide prevention in the community
Our free workshops can be held before work, if required. A koha is welcome to cover the cost of resources.
Lives Worth Living offers a 24-hour response, following the loss of someone in our community.
Part of this support includes working alongside people who need help to navigate or connect with other services. Workshops are also provided to help people understand grief, while looking after their wellbeing.
Oceans Grief & Loss is a programme suitable for children and young people aged 12-18 that helps to build coping skills and resilience (ability to cope or recover from a crisis or emotional difficulties), when they have lost someone close to them. It is run in a small group setting.
The programme provides an opportunity for people who are missing someone in their lives to:
- Share and learn from others experiencing a similar loss.
- Learn through a programme that has been proven to build trust and resilience.
- Experience activities developed to assist people to cope with loss and change in their lives.
- Be supported by caring and trained programme facilitators.
Waves is a programme that supports adults bereaved by suicide. It is run over eight weeks and combines group discussion with education about suicide and bereavement to support people adjusting to living with loss. The Waves programme provides the opportunity to connect with other people, in a safe environment, who have been affected by suicide.
One of the main goals of the programme is to help people understand the stages of grief they may be experiencing and how to cope with them while looking after their wellbeing and those close to them. It is facilitated by trained counsellors and educators.
The Virtual Hopebox (VHB)
The Virtual Hopebox (VHB) is an app that assists people experiencing distress by developing skills to cope with and regulate emotions. The app is divided into four sections that focus on coping, relaxation, distraction and positive thinking techniques.
The Mentemia app has practical tips and techniques that encourage people to improve their wellbeing. It assists people to identify areas they struggle with and then offers fun and easy exercises to help. Over time, it learns what your wellbeing preferences are and personalises resources for you.
Calm is an app for sleep, mindfulness and relaxation. Users focus on the area of wellbeing that is relevant to them, such as anxiety, self-esteem, happiness or sleep. The guided sessions are between 3-25 minutes and cater to users with varying levels of mindfulness experience.
Headspace is an app for people who are new to meditation. Its guided sessions increase in length as users become more comfortable with meditating. It’s creator, Andy Puddicombe, says the app, “isn’t about getting rid of thoughts, it's more about learning how to be at ease with them”.
The Lowdown is designed to help young kiwis understand depression and anxiety. It focuses on recognising the early signs to help reduce the impact depression and anxiety can have on a person’s wellbeing. The website offers a variety of resources including information sheets, personal stories and forums where young people can connect and support each other.
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation actively promotes the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. It provides a wealth of resources online at mentalheath.org.nz and has a holistic approach, meaning it looks at all aspects of a person’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) provides a comprehensive website, mherc.org.nz that offers a range of resources to anybody affected by mental illness. The site has a directory for mental health services and helplines, a free online library and an array of information.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
Evidence has shown that including five actions in your daily life can greatly improve wellbeing. In its Five Ways to Wellbeing resources, the Mental Health Foundation recommends:
Continuing to Learn
The resources are available in English, Te Reo Māori and other languages.
Te Reo Māori version of Five Ways to Wellbeing in Māori (MHF have other languages).
Thank you to the Ashburton Guardian for hosting this series where Lives Worth Living Suicide Prevention Coordinator Paul (Pup) Chamberlain discusses mental health and wellbeing.