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Casper joins forces with Mike Pero for suicide prevention

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Suicide Prevention Group CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research) has signed a sponsorship deal with Mike Pero Real Estate and Mike Pero Mortgages, which represents $1 million in value to the organisation. The deal involves the provision of cash, marketing, fundraising and other business services over a three year period.

Mike Pero's recently announced sponsorship of V8 Supercar driver Greg Murphy will include promotion of CASPER and a nationwide suicide awareness campaign. Both Mike Pero and Greg Murphy have expressed horror at New Zealand's suicide rates and a strong commitment to contributing to suicide prevention. . In February 2012 Murphy will start a New Zealand campaign in the New Zealand V8 SuperTourer Series and the Pero companies will be his principle sponsor. The V8 SuperTourer will perform very much like the Australian V8 Supercars with a potential top speed of 300kph.

Established in August 2010, by two mothers who lost their children to suicide, to date CASPER has been solely funded by a group of families bereaved by suicide selling their homes and assets and providing free labour.

The support of Mike Pero will enable the organisation to roll out its community and youth education programmes and support services to families bereaved by suicide throughout the country. Volunteer training is a key priority for the organisation, along with expansion of its peer support network for children who have lost brothers and sisters to suicide.

New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD and high rates of suicide in older people by international comparisons. Eleven people take their lives in New Zealand every week, with a total of 558 suicide deaths recorded in 2010/2011. The Government estimates that 65,000 people have been bereaved by suicide in the past 25 years in New Zealand.

CASPER promotes a social approach to suicide prevention, as an alternative to the Government's mental health approach, which has been found to increase, rather than decrease, suicide rates. CASPER supports families and communities to prevent suicide by addressing the marginalisation of groups and individuals that underlies suicide.

The commitment and generous contribution from Mike Pero Real Estate and Mike Pero Mortgages and Greg Murphy to support CASPER's goals and work have overwhelmed the organisation. CASPER aims to provide a legacy for those who have lost their lives, to stop further suicide deaths, and to turn New Zealand from the world leader in youth suicide to the world leader in suicide prevention.

Casper believes this sponsorship and approach will significantly advance their goals to a reduction in deaths.

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