Virginia Brooks is a health promoter for the Mental Health Foundation. She coordinates the suicide bereavement service and works with those directly assisting suicide bereaved to expand support for bereaved. She also contributes to MHF’s work in the area of suicide prevention.
Virginia comes to this work with lived experience, having lost close family members to suicide. Through this, she has learnt (a) the value of peer support and (b) postvention is prevention. Virginia was the project lead for the development of the guidelines ‘Support Groups for Suicide Loss, a Handbook for Aotearoa New Zealand’.
Virginia has a background in education, teaching and counselling and likes reading academic research on suicide prevention, bereavement and postvention, finding out what works and why and advocating for practical ways to use these learnings.
She holds a MA (hons) in Anthropology from Auckland University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching from the Auckland College of Education.