Volunteers will collect 579 pairs of shoes to highlight each New Zealander who committed suicide in 2016.
Suicide prevention groups and families and friends who have lost loved ones will line up shoes in more than 20 towns across New Zealand, beginning on August 26 at events in Cape Reinga and Bluff.
At each event, a bereaved local will hold a pair of their loved ones’ shoes, share their story and talk about the change they want to see.
The final event will be at Parliament on September 10, which is also International Suicide Prevention Day.
YesWeCare.nz and the Public Service Association, New Zealand’s mental health union, are supporting groups and families running the events.
Co-ordinator Simon Oosterman says the shoes will provide a striking visual reminder of the toll suicide has on communities.
“Suicide is preventable,” he said.
“We need to talk more about how to identify people at risk and support them to get help.”
The 579 suicide deaths in 2016 is the worst toll since records began in 2008.
Men aged between 25 and 29 and women aged between 40 and 44 are most at risk, while Māori are the most at risk ethnicity.
If you wish to talk to someone about mental illness or domestic violence, you can call Lifeline on 0800 543 354, the Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757 or the National Telehealth Service on 1737.