We need at least one person affected by suicide to speak at each event. Two is ideal we’ll get more media coverage. (Most towns have two papers and they prefer to speak to different people.)
The shoes provide a striking backdrop, but it’s a personal story of someone affected by suicide that gives the story impact. People relate to personal stories better than facts, figures or politicians.
The shoes also provide a visual platform to give someone who has been finding it hard to get media attention or gives someone who has already been in the media a new angle.
It’s also great for those who have never spoken in the media before. Because we’re doing the event across the country, you’ll be a part of a bigger story and you won’t be on your own.
Stories in local media
- A human face on suicide prevention with a personal story people can relate to,
- Talk about the change we need to see (see below), and
- Show the impact suicide has on communities through the number of shoes.
Politicians to commit to our asks
- Setting a suicide reduction target, and
- Holding an independent mental health inquiry and funding what it identifies as being needed.
Please note: we are supporting our issue, not a particularly political party. We are asking politicians to put politics aside and do what’s needed for all New Zealanders. While it is the Government who vetoed setting a target and refuses to hold an inquiry, we want them to change their mind too.
What you’ll need to do
Before the event
- Write up a brief summary of your personal story and the change you’d like to see (no more than one side of an A4 piece of paper*).
- Email us your story as soon as possible.
- We aim to write up a press release as soon as possible to give local media the heads up.
- The media might want to interview you before the event either to promote the event or so they only need to take a photo on the day.
* Please keep in mind we will be writing a story for each day. If you keep your story short it will really help us get the best story you want.
At the event
- Be available on the day of the action at 1130 is possible and no later than 1215 so we can talk before the interview or photo is taken.
- Be willing to be named, photographed and/or filmed.
- Share your personal story
- Hold a pair of your loved ones shoes (or same type as they wore).
- Talk about the change you want to see, including our two demands of all political parties:
- Set a suicide reduction target
- Hold an independent mental health inquiry
- Wear a yellow t-shirt saying “Mental Health Inquiry Now”.
Some people have asked if they can hold a photo of their loved one, if you want to, please do.
Speaking to the media
A YesWeCare.nz staff will be with you at the event to support you.
Speaking in the media is not only easier than people think, it can be empowering.
We’ll organise the media unless you ask to.
- Speak about what you know: your personal story is never wrong
- People relate better to stories than facts: you don’t need to be an expert of suicide prevention or know a lot of facts. If you want to know one fact, knowing the number of people lost to suicide in your region is worth knowing.
- You don’t need to be polished, being polishes doesn’t sound authentic.
- Prepare your story before hand. Write down one key point and three supporting points.
- The less you write in your story, the more control you will have over your story. (The media have a limited space to write.)
- Practice your key points.
- Ask to be interviewed on the phone before the event. That way you can hold your notes in front of you while you are being interviewed.
- If you get a call and you aren’t ready, ask to be called back in ten minutes. Go and get your prepared story.
- If you are interviewed at the event, you can still bring your notes to read from.
If you would like more help or tips, please contact us.