Saturday July 22, 2017   Last updated 22:36PM
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Bikes bring suicide prevention message to Taranaki
Tutaki Youth Centre in Stratford, Taranaki

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With the sound of heavy metal thunder, RATS or Riders Against Teen Suicide took their message to the highways and byways of Taranaki over the weekend.

Organiser Tama Eminukutepua says he became involved in the kaupapa because of a suicide attempt in his own whanau.

He says the sight and sound of the big bikes got people onto the streets talking about what was going on with suicide and what they could do.

Many also donated to the Tutaki Youth Centre in Stratford.

He says part of the solution is community-level awareness and prevention, as well as having the right services in place.

"Some of our community services have restrictions or criteria's that the kids can actually use those services. We have a big gap between the ages of 17 and 18 where they don't meet mental health services and they don't meet CAM services so theres nothing for them. Unless they meet the critieria, ridiculous criteria, such as you have to be living at home. That sort of stuff. So they are falling through the gap," he says

Tama Eminukutepua says at least 578 people took their own lives last year and another 3000 ended up in hospital because of failed suicide attempts.

FULL INTERVIEW WITH TAMA EMINUKUTEPUA

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