30 Jul 2012

Fathers form group to tackle suicide

6:50 am on 30 July 2012

A Northland man has started a group for fathers who have lost their children to suicide to help them deal with their grief.

Fathers Against Suicide was formed by Arthur Harawira of Kaikohe after he attended the tangi for a young girl who had committed suicide.

He says he recognised how shattered the father was by his grief and says men often can't articulate their feelings or sense of loss.

Since forming the group, Mr Harawira says he's been approached by a number of people wishing to join.

He says one father who approached him spoke for more than four hours about his loss.

Mr Harawira's own son committed suicide 16 years ago and he says it's important fathers - and mothers - learn to recognise early warning signs.

Mr Harawira wants Father Against Suicide to go around schools to talk about how much their children meant to them and discuss suicide prevention.