Alex Handiside. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

A new community-based suicide prevention and postvention co-ordinator has been appointed in Wairarapa.

Alex Handiside will start in the role next month.

“I’m feeling very ready for this role,” Handiside said.

“Everyone in Wairarapa and across Aotearoa knows there’s a lot of work to do.

“The government has announced millions of dollars of new funding, increased access to counselling, and a new National Suicide Prevention Office looks like it will be established soon.

“Now is the time to start making changes in how we in Wairarapa live and work together.”

Handiside is aware of our strengths.

“I know there are mates, bosses, whanau, coaches, teachers, and lots of groups, agencies, and individuals making a difference to this community every single day.”

With a “pretty useful” varied background, including working as farm labourer, working for the Mental Health Commission and the Ministry of Youth Development, running a drop-in centre for the homeless, and coffee roasting, Handiside is well cut out for his new role.

He wanted people to know he was here to be of service.

“I’m not a shy person,” he said.

“If you see me on the sidelines, or in the supermarket, please feel free to introduce yourself.

“I’m always keen for a chat.”

Handiside will start in his suicide prevention role in the first week of October and you can reach him at the DHB on 06 946 9800.