Lifeline marks World Suicide Prevention Day, today (September 10), with Out of the Shadows events to remove discrimination and isolation surrounding suicide.

In 2018, the last reporting period, 3,046 lives were lost to suicide in Australia. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds.

“Out of the Shadows’ events allow for a reflective and safe space for those who have lost loved ones to connect with others,” Brad Hannagan, CEO of Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney said.

“It is also an opportunity to come together as a community and support those struggling with their own mental health to feel connected.

“COVID-19 restrictions are definitely exacerbating isolation,” Mr Hannagan said.

“In August alone, up to 48 per cent of callers wanted to discuss COVID-19.

This year is the 10th anniversary of holding the Out of the Shadows walk in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have therefore opted for virtual Out of the Shadows initiatives in 2020 to ensure those who are experiencing the impacts of suicide can feel connected and are aware of the support and compassion that is around them and within our community.”

This year’s Out of the Shadows events include virtual walks, a virtual flower garden and Facebook LIVE reflection.

For details on how to participate in Lifeline’s community virtual walks and Facebook LIVE reflection visit www.lifelinemacarthur.org.au/oots2020.

To make a donation and plant a virtual flower in Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney’s garden of remembrance go to www.lifelinemacarthur.org.au.

For 24/7 crisis or suicide prevention support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Online crisis support chat is also available 7pm – midnight (AEST) 7 days a week: www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

Today is R U OK?Day, but do you what to say is someone says they are not OK?

It has been a year that many people won’t forget and it is more important than ever to ask the question R U OK, but also be ready to have a conversation.

“We need to be genuine when we ask R U OK?, to let people know we’re there to listen, that we won’t judge them and that people can find pathways to support and recovery when they’re struggling,” R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said.

“We’re encouraging everyone to learn that there’s more to say after R U OK? because a conversation really can change a life. “We’re calling on Australians who are well and able, to check in with someone, reach out and meaningfully ask are you OK? not just today but every day.

“This is about caring for someone in your world. It’s about looking out for your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbours.” In Australia in 2018 3,046 people died by suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 in Australia and for each life lost the impact is felt by up to 135 others including family members, work colleagues, friends and emergency services workers. Research released by R U OK? show that among those people aware of R U OK? most feel confident they know how to have a conversation with someone who might be struggling with life. However, 31 per cent lack confidence or are unsure they know how to have a conversation with someone who says they are not OK. “We understand that sometimes people might feel a little uncomfortable or awkward if someone says they’re not okay,” said Ms Newton. “But you don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going.” R U OK? wants people to become familiar with what to say after hearing “No, I’m not OK” so they can show genuine intent and help someone access appropriate support long before they’re in crisis. Learn what to say next at www.ruok.org.au



Job seekers in south-west Sydney will benefit from a local jobs taskforce established to connect job seekers to local employment opportunities.

The Morrison government is investing $62.8 million in a Local Jobs Program to support the nation’s recovery and get more Australians back into work.

Federal MP for Hume Angus Taylor welcomed the announcement for Camden and Wollondilly job seekers with an employment facilitator engaged to connect job seekers with training, job opportunities or other support.

“The local knowledge of the Taskforce will play a critical role in connecting job seekers with local employment,” Mr Taylor said.

“Industry and small business rely on the local community to support them.

“We want to skill people as best we can to meet the needs of local employers and help them get back into the workforce sooner.”

The Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce for the south-west Sydney region will be chaired by an employment facilitator, selected by a tender process. Taskforces will be comprised of up to 10 members with representation from local stakeholders, higher education and training providers, employment service providers and local and state governments.

The Local Jobs Program will run until June 30, 2022. For details, visit www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program.

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