By Toni Maui, Whānau Kaimahi-a-Iwi (Social Worker)
In Aotearoa in 2018, 137 young people died by suicide and it is estimated another 3,500 attempted to take their own lives. While agencies are doing their best, some of our tamariki and rangatahi are stuck waiting up to six months to receive the counselling they so urgently need.
I am Hope, backed by the Key to Life Trust came up with Gumboot Friday as a concept for people to show support and fund raise so that rangatahi can get free access to the counselling services they need – when they need them. The wearing of gumboots is to symbolise that for people struggling with depression, it can feel like walking through mud every day.
On Friday April 5th, our Whakatū office got together to support this worthy kaupapa. We raised $42 and as you can see from the photo the joking and laughs had were good for the hinengaro of our kaimahi too!
More than $1M has been raised so far to support our rangatahi and tamariki. Check https://www.iamhope.org.nz/ for what's in the gumboot kete. Ka mau te wehi!