League team offers support on suicide

ALANA DIXON
Last updated 05:00 08/09/2012

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Southland's rugby league team has put its weight behind an advocacy group for those left grieving after suicide.

Southern District Rugby League president Nic Brady said a game between the Southland Rams, which he manages, and its masters' team today would have a minute's silence before play in recognition of people affected by suicide.

The Rams wanted to be role models and encourage positive change, and believed supporting Bereavement After Suicide Southland was the way to do so, he said.

"If we can help someone who's feeling a bit down in the dumps or anything like that, who knows where they might end up or where their career might take them."

They would also collect gold coin donations for Bass, and planned to do the same thing at matches against Tasman and Canterbury in the next two weeks, Mr Brady said.

Today's game starts at 12pm, at Elles Rd.

Bass founder Sarah Ritchie said having sports teams willing to address the issue of suicide in New Zealand would get the message out to at-risk groups including males, youth, and Maori and Pasifika people.

"They're an amazing bunch of guys - and these are big guys. For them to talk about their emotions, it's a really big thing."

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and deputy mayor Darren Ludlow would speak at a candlelight vigil to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, she said.

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- The Southland Times

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