Stepping out to help save lives
Published 4 September 2019
The annual Suicide Prevention Walk will be held in Rose Bay on Sunday 8 September, in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day.
The Suicide Prevention Walk, hosted by the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network (ESSPN) in collaboration with the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy, and now in its seventh year, aims to start conversations in our neighbourhood about mental health, suicide prevention and the services available in our community.
Members of the community are invited to wear white and join the walk, which starts at Lyne Park at 11:30am and will be followed by a BBQ.
Carlos Duarte, Chair of the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network, says the walk aims to reduce stigma around mental health and suicide and encourage people in our local communities to seek help if they need it.
“We hope passers-by will stop and ask us what the walk is all about. We use this as an opportunity to start conversations about mental health and suicide prevention within our community”.
Carlos says if we have a friend, partner, relative or colleague who we think may need support, the best thing to do is to ask them if they need help.
“If necessary, encourage the person to see a professional who may aid them. You could offer to go with them to see their General Practitioner to get a mental health care plan and referral to a psychologist.
“Self harm and thoughts of suicide need to be taken seriously and we should always treat these with empathy, support and understanding. The emphasis should be on compassion and empowering an individual to seek and accept help or support.
The ESSPN (in collaboration with Woollahra Council, The Haymarket Foundation and the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy) also runs the Suicide Impacting Me support group. The group, which began in 2018, meets on the first Tuesday of each month at JewishCare and is for anyone in the community, irrespective of faith, who’s lost a loved one to suicide. The group is well attended and is facilitated by two clinical psychologists.
The Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy also provides a number of services for the Jewish community and have trained more than 300 people in mental health first aid.
If you’re interested in learning more about mental health first aid, take a look at the Mental Health First Aid course being held at Council Chambers from 24-25 October.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact one of the following services:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14, www.lifeline.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
- Beyondblue: 1300 24 636, www.beyondblue.org.au
- MensLine Australia: 1300 789 987, www.mensline.org.au
- Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
- Relationships Australia 1300 364277, https://www.relationships.org.au/
- Make an appointment to visit your local GP for a mental health care plan if you prefer to speak to someone in person.
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