The focus on the ‘Breaking the Silence on Suicide feature series in the NZ Herald is about solutions this week, so I thought I’d share my five cents and the solution I believe would make a massive impact on the spiraling number of suicides.

It breaks my heart to see so many people struggling and so many precious lives cut short.

We are failing our children. Adults can hardly cope, so how the fuck do we expect them to manage?

I believe it’s a systemic problem that’s overwhelming society with so many pre cursors to live up to, we lose faith in the world and ourselves. Our senses are overloaded and imploding. We can no longer make sense of ourselves or our place in the world. It’s a disease I call the ‘D syndrome’ – people are dispirited, disheartened, disconnected and disillusioned.

The solution to suicide is life skills. Personal development skills for adults and children to help us get to know ourselves inside out so we understand the kind of environment that’ll feed our soul, heart, mind and body.

Personal fulfillment can only be achieved when the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical parts of ourselves are nourished. Aristotle said ‘Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.’ We need to understand ourselves first to ensure we nurture the spiritual, emotional, mental and physicals parts of ourselves in ways that help us grow and flourish as happy, health and whole humans.

We all know diet and exercise affects our health, BUT we can eat all the good stuff and exercise our tits off and still feel like shit! It’s the same with mental health. We can think positive thoughts till the cows come home, BUT if we have no awareness of where our thoughts come from or how they affect our mood, then it’s just a lot of wasted hot air. The soul knows what we need. It communicates through the heart where we find meaning and a connection to people, places and issues that make us feel good. We need to understand all

Our external environment affects our internal environment and vice versa. As adults we need to look at ourselves first and get our own shit together so we don’t dump our own issues on our children. If parents and educators increase their awareness of what’s important to them, they’ll decrease their demands on what they want the child to do and increase their ability to help the child understand why and what they want to do for themselves.

We’re all too ready to point the finger at ‘problem children,’ but forget they mirror and respond to the environment they’re in. Behaviour provides clues about feelings. If we’re not given an opportunity to share them, if we’re told to behave and be quiet, frustration builds up. Some people will lose control and get aggressive, while others go quiet. Both are signs there’s something upsetting the us. We have to stop merely bollocking peole and start giving them the attention they deserve. We have to start listening to what’s upsetting them and do something about it. We need to be more compassionate and validate their feelings. Life skills will give people the tactics to play the game of life in a way that brings out the best in them so they can create a measure for their own success. Human nature is naturally curious, so given the space and opportunity, we’ll explore what feels right for us. We have a collective responsibility to support each other on whatever path they feel is right for them,

We’re currently part of a system designed to help us grow into productive, useful commodities that has it’s own measure of what we need to do in order to ‘become’ someone who will be of value.   What it fails to acknowledge is the fact we’re already someone! Someone who needs support to bring the best bits out – the intangible assets we all have that CANNOT be measured. Attributes that make us human as opposed to robots.

We have to stop defining our future in terms of a job role and start thinking about what’s important to us and how we can use that to add value to the world we live in.

I believe we’re shutting our children down, cutting them off from growing into their future potential. Children are teachers too. We can learn so much from them if us adults weren’t so caught up in the fact we think we know best. Our job is to support them and facilitate them to find themselves. We hardly know ourselves, so who are we to tell them what’s best for them. Children bring fresh untampered perspectives to life. They ground us and speak from the heart without all the bullshit ‘have to,’ ‘ought to,’ ‘need to,’ conditions that stifle growth. They’re not afraid to try new things.

Like plants, we need specific conditions to grow and when we’re not in the right environment, we slowly wilt and die. No one environment provides the right nutrients for our diverse needs, so why do we expect our children to thrive in an education system that has no room to be different.

When they’re small, we celebrate their milestones, but when they get to school, the entire focus shifts to what they’re not doing/achieving. They get the message all too soon that they’re not good enough because they don’t measure up to a norm. Confidence goes out the window, insecurities manifest into aggressive behaviour, depression, stress, anxiety and worst of all – suicide.

We all suffer from mental health issues. The stigma comes from the fact we think there’s something ‘wrong’ with us. Suicidal feelings stem from a total inability to manage the pain and constant thoughts that take over your life. It’s impossible to think straight when you’re overwhelmed with feelings.

All we should ever want for our children is for them to feel at peace with themselves and safe to explore whatever avenue they want. We need to trust the process, stop thinking we know best and just help them find what’ll bring the best of them out. It’s their life, not ours. We are mere guardians. We should get on and do the same for ourselves.

Yes we need to improve services for people who’ve reached the end of their tether, BUT we desperately need to do something different to make damn sure it doesn’t get an worse. We need a preventative measure.

Everyone has a distinct value, it’s just we have no frigging idea how to find it.

BUT I do

I have poured the personal and professional experiences I’ve had over he past 56 years into creating a life skills programme I believe will help people see the value of their own life so they’re empowered with a desire to live it to the full.

If you’re intrigued and want to find out more about my background, my philosophy and the work I do, then use this link –

And please feel free to comment or contact me with your thoughts and questions.

Send me an email to or ring me on 0212437474. You can also connect with me on facebook – Philippa Ross – Enthusiologist.

I’m running a couple of workshops on the 12th and 26th August in Whangarei to help you put the bounce back in your life Details can be found using this link –





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