Charity’s walk for suicide prevention

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A walk along Newcastle’s picturesque coastline hopes to bring suicide out of the shadows.

Lifeline has encouraged people from across the Hunter to join its Walk With Us event on Tuesday 10 September – World Suicide Prevention Day.

The walk, now into its fifth year, honours the memory of those lost, while it also aims to remove the stigma surrounding suicide.

Lifeline Hunter Central Coast chief executive Rob Sams said the event was an opportunity for the community to show it cared.

“This event is an opportunity for Lifeline to walk together with the community and shine light on the importance of human connection for people when supporting each other,” he said.

“I hope this event reaches those who are currently struggling and highlights that we, as a community, do care and want to help.”

In 2017, the last reporting period, there were 3,128 Australian lives lost to suicide while, each year, around 80,000 Australians attempt suicide.

The Walk With Us participants will start at Dixon Park Surf Club at 6am and head to Merewether before making a return.

The route is wheelchair and pram friendly.

A Welcome to Country will be led by Uncle Bill and special guests are set to include Australian Institute of Sport representatives Declan Stacey and Gordon Allen, as well as the Newcastle Jets squad.

Lifeline hopes the free event will exceed previous attendance numbers, which have seen more than 700 people participate.

The charity is grateful to Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, Newcastle Flower Markets, and Dixon Park Surf Club for helping to make the event possible.

Visit lifelinehunter.org.au to register for the event or for more information.

For 24/7 crisis or suicide prevention support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or head to lifeline.org.au/crisischat from 7pm to midnight for online support.