Lifting the Lid of Youth Suicide — Kāpiti NowWith the support from five Rotary Clubs in Hawkes Bay, a pilot project is underway to provide funds to local secondary schools to deliver counseling to students at risk of self-harm and or suicide.
This support, while intended to complement services already available, will allow schools to source funds quickly to employ counselors for students who are deemed to be at risk of self-harm.
For Rotary Clubs, the process is simple. The school counsellor determines when a student needs immediate support and who will provide it.
They discuss with the Principal, who in turn applies for funds from Rotary on a simple application form. Rotary does not seek to question the validity or efficacy of the application or the intervention. “Lifting the Lid” is simply the enabler of funding for services provided by the Counsellor within the school. Rotary sets the limit of funding for each session along with the number of counselling sessions so that there can be no overspending.
The Lifting the Lid group comprises representatives from the Rotary Clubs of Stortford Lodge, Havelock North, Greenmeadows, Taradale and Napier. The committee is chaired by Wendy Mildon, a member of Stortford Lodge Rotary and wife of Past District Governor Grant Spackman. The project is based on a successful programme established by the Rotary Clubs on the Kapiti Coast. Following a presentation by Otaki Rotary President, Adrian Gregory at the District 9930 Conference in Hastings last year, the group’s investigations found a significant need for suicide prevention amongst young people in Hawkes Bay. Wendy introduced the Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Hawkes Bay DHB, who has an intimate knowledge of the local situation. She provided introductions to key people at secondary schools and social agencies. Significant progress has been made with the announcement of a six-month pilot at a local College. The school Principal, Counsellor and Social Workers at the College are enthusiastic about the project which is up and running with two referrals for counselling already approved by the Rotary committee.
The hope for “Lifting the Lid on Youth Suicide” is that the project will be available to all secondary schools in Hawkes Bay once there is sustainable funding within the local Rotary Clubs. Funds have already been committed by Napier and Stortford Lodge Rotary and Lifting the Lid will be the main beneficiary of Stortford Rotary’s upcoming Quiz Night and Charity Auction. Proposals are also being prepared for funding from outside organisations. Wendy and committee Secretary, Ken Haines, are currently promoting the project to all Clubs in Areas 9 and 10 with a PowerPoint Presentation.
They welcome interest from Rotarians in other Areas of District 9930 wishing to investigate a similar programme.
Written by
Wendy Mildon 
021 904075
Rotary Club of Stortford Lodge (Hastings)
Ken Haines    
029 4443322   
Rotary Club of Stortford Lodge (Hastings)