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.