Causes of depression, suicide focus of seminar

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The causes of depression and suicidal thoughts and strategies to deal with them are the focus of a seminar to be given by communication tutor Keith Lightfoot.

The evening seminar – called An Alternative View on Depression and Suicide – will be held at the Heartland Hotel Croydon next Tuesday, starting at 6.45pm.

Mr Lightfoot, of Pukerau, said he had given the seminar in North Island centres, Christchurch and in the United States.

Depression and suicide were widespread in New Zealand and families were hurting, he said.

Reasons for taking part in the seminar included having personally “experienced personal sadness, anxiety/depression, or you know someone who has, or maybe you just want to know more and hear a different perspective on the problem”.

There were many theories relating to depression and suicidal thoughts, he said.

“I’m going to give them an alternative,” he said.

Topics to be covered would include the root causes of depression as well as therapies such as the use of anti-depressants and cognitive behavioural therapy.

People attended the seminar for various reasons. Some just wanted to learn more about the subject, others were community leaders who wanted to become better informed and be part of the community discussion and some might have a personal interest.

The seminar would be challenging for some.

“Not everybody is ready to hear what I’ve got to say.”

Mr Lightfoot said if one person was helped by the seminar then it was worthwhile.

Ways of identifying those experiencing difficulties would be covered in the seminar, he said.

“It’s not easy to tell if somebody is heading down this pathway.”

Mr Lightfoot presented courses on personal and professional development to Mataura Licensing Trust staff, MLT general manager Mark Paterson said.

The course had made a dramatic difference to staff, he said.

The seminar is free and will include complimentary tea and coffee.

Where to get help


Healthline: 0800 611-116

Lifeline Aotearoa: 800 543-354

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 508 828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Samaritans: 0800 726-666

General mental health inquiries: 0800 44-33-66

The Depression Helpline:0800 111-757