• Shaquille Shortland

A message of Hope: World Suicide Prevention Day - 10.9.2019

Today is world suicide prevention day.

I lost my father Henare Shortland to suicide at three years old. He was only 20 at the time.

I have sat in that darkness. I hated myself, my life and everyone around me and felt no need to continue living. This was back in 2013 - 2014 (I was 20 at the time) I've only REALLY come in to my state of Mauri (content with self and purpose) over the past two years or so. It takes time, love, good friends and family to lean on and a home.

I've been kicked out homeless, in debt, caught up in gangs you name it. People have only ever been interested in my success, no one wanted to know me in my lows.

Now, I feel loved EVERYWHERE I go in the country. A 10 minute walk takes nearly an hour due to being stopped all the time, hugged, kissed and conversed with by every second person I see. From Kaitaia to Whangarei, to Auckland to Wellington and beyond! Nearly EVERY day I am celebrated and treated with such respect and aroha (even though I ask people to just treat me normally). There is light at the end of the tunnel. THANK YOU to everyone for your love & support.

How did I get there? Continue being selfless, continue doing what you know is right, give more than you take.... don't even take, just receive gracefully 🙏❤️, learn that REST does not mean SLEEP it can be focusing on another kaupapa, give your last $10, give your first $10 if you have nothing to give, give your time. Give without expecting return. KIA KAHA, do NOT give up. Know that you have your ANCESTORS behind you ALL of the time.

There are many teachings from Te Ao Māori that pulled me out of the darkness and I share them in my classes at the right time.

The Whangarei Future Leaders group are crafting an initiative to tackle the stigma surrounding the sharing of our stories and mental health as well as climate change and healthy eating for OUR community. Get behind us, show us your love & support ❤️🙏

Ngā mihi, Shaquille Shortland

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