Steps towards suicide awareness

Lifeline will continue its push to shine a light on suicide in the Latrobe Valley community with its second annual ‘Out of the Shadows’ walk.

The organisation is inviting those who have lost family members and friends, or those wanting to know more about the support services available, to meet at 7.30am at the Morwell Rose Garden this Saturday for a walk through the central business district to the Lifeline offices on Church Street.

“Often when somebody commits suicide, people don’t know what to say to their family and it can be almost as if they never existed,” Lifeline Gippsland acting chief executive Patricia Nalder said.

“It’s important people get the opportunity to recognise that person, because they were somebody who was loved.”

Ms Nalder invited those who did not want to take part in the walk to go along to the subsequent breakfast at the Lifeline offices provided by the Morwell Lions Club.

The walk will reinforce the key themes surrounding Lifeline’s national response to suicide – hope, recovery, reflection and prevention, and will come ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September.

“We encourage people to be part of our campaign to get the community talking about suicide, learning about suicide prevention and connecting with each other to save lives,” Ms Nalder said.

Lifeline operates a free, eight-week Suicide Prevention and Support Program which recently gained more than $32,000 from public fundraising as part of the ‘Sleep Rough’ event at Warragul on 15 August, organised by the Commonwealth Bank.

The funds raised will also go towards supporting Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis hotline.

Lifeline Gippsland takes almost 2000 calls on average each month.

To register for the Out of the Shadows walk, phone 5136 3500.