More than 500 people braved the elements on Friday to remember loved ones lost at Lifeline’s World Suicide Prevention Day Walk in Newcastle.
Lifeline Hunter CEO Rob Sams said it was a special occasion with locals impacted by suicide, mental health support providers and advocates, researchers, policy makers and politicians supporting one another.
“It’s the community’s event and a privilege for Lifeline to make it happen,” he explained.
“It was heart-warming to see workplaces, including Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, as well as Hunter Water and Newcastle Permanent have teams walking in memory of colleagues lost to suicide or to support colleagues impacted by suicide.
“We walk at dawn to bring conversations around suicide out of the shadows to break down stigma.
“As a community, we can help prevent suicide by learning from and being inspired by one another.
“At work, at home and with friends, we need to look out for people in crisis and be there for each other.
“To anyone who is in crisis or bereaved by suicide, Lifeline is here to listen and to offer hope.”
Aunty Cheryl Smith welcomed those gathered to Awabakal and Worimi country.
She hoped the walk helped people with their loss and healing.
Newcastle state MP Tim Crakanthorp thanked people for attending.
He said like so many others at the event, he had lost someone close to him to suicide.
The walk from Dixon Park to Merewether Baths and back didn’t go ahead in 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sadly, nine Australians die every day by their own hand and more than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year.
It is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 and 44.
If this story raises issues for you, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 13 Yarn on 13 92 76.
Confidential suicide prevention support
- Lifeline – Telephone: 13 11 14 l Text: 0477 13 11 14 l Chat online: www.lifeline.org.au
- Lifeline face to face and video counselling bookings: 1300 152 854
- 13 Yarn (13 92 76) – An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander run service for people who are feeling no good