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Annual Out of the Shadows Walk honours loved ones lost

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Hundreds of local residents will come together in Newcastle this week to remember loved ones lost to suicide.

They’ll also show support for action, to prevent it, at Lifeline Hunter’s Out of the Shadows Walk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday 8 September.

The event, from Dixon Beach to Merewether Baths, starts at 6.30am.

Lifeline Hunter CEO Rob Sams said the walk was a powerful and heart-warming way to reflect on lived experiences relating to suicide or suicide attempts.

“Hopefully, it will help reduce the stigma that surrounds it, too,” he explained.

“We call the walk Out of the Shadows because it assists the community to keep the important conversation about suicide prevention into the light.

“By coming together as a community, we can learn from other people’s experiences and be inspired by others’ actions.

“We can also support people impacted by suicide or suicide attempts.”

He said Lifeline was still receiving about 25% more calls to its 13 11 14 service than prior to the pandemic as people dealt with cost-of-living pressures, loneliness and other trauma.

“Our message on the day, and every day, is that Lifeline is here to listen to those in times of crisis and to offer hope,” Mr Sams adds.

The free event is again being supported by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG).

Aunty Cheryl Smith will welcome those gathered to Awabakal and Worimi country, while there’ll be a coffee cart and breakfast thanks to Medowie Lions Club.

Despite rain, more than 500 people participated in last year’s walk – the first since 2019 because of COVID-19 restrictions.

World Suicide Prevention Day is 10 September.

The theme for this year is “creating hope through action”.

Mr Sams said everyone was welcome at the event.

“But, it helps with planning if people attending register at Sticky Tickets or via the link at lifelinehunter.org.au,” he stated.

Nine Australians die every day by suicide and more than 65,000 Australians make an annually.

It’s the leading cause of death for Aussies between the ages of 15 and 44.

Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service offering crisis support, individual counselling, bereavement support groups, suicide prevention training, and other community programs. 

Lifeline support

  • Telephone: 13 11 14 l Text: 0477 13 11 14 l Chat online: www.lifeline.org.au
  • Face-to-face and video counselling bookings: 1300 152 854

If this story raises issues for you, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 13 Yarn on 13 92 76.

Lifeline World Suicide Prevention Day Walk

  • What: Lifeline Hunter’s Out of the Shadows Walk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day
  • When: Friday 8 September at 6am for a 6.30am start
  • Where: Dixon Beach car park. Walk to Merewether Baths and back

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