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Lifeline to host Out of the Shadows events on September 10

Lifeline Central West CEO Stephanie Robinson said it is important we de-stigmatise suicide and mental illness. Photo: Australian Community Media.
Lifeline Central West CEO Stephanie Robinson said it is important we de-stigmatise suicide and mental illness. Photo: Australian Community Media.

This World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline will call on Australians to let those who are struggling know that they are not alone.

Every year, Lifeline centres across the nation bring communities together to observe World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 through its Out of the Shadows events.

Due to COVID-19, the events are this year being held virtually to show support for those bereaved by suicide and who are struggling with their own mental health.

Lifeline Central West CEO Stephanie Robinson said it is always important we de-stigmatise suicide and mental illness.

"With approximately 60 funerals a week across the nation it is something that is difficult to talk about but it doesn't make sense not to talk about it," she said.

"For us in the Central West we want to use the day to pause, remember and acknowledge those that have been tragically lost to suicide.

"We want to recognise that they were someone's loved one and that their life had value and they dies to soon."

Ms Robinson said Lifeline also want to acknowledge the strength and courage of those that have lived experience of suicidal ideation and battle with their mental health.

"Many feel alone and a burden, we wish to show solidarity and that we stand with them," she added.

Out of the Shadows walks traditionally take place at sunrise and create a safe place of acceptance to mourn loved ones lost to suicide and reduce stigma.

Ms Robinson said in the Central West there will be both a virtual walk where people can do it their own or they can join us in Bathurst , Orange and Dubbo at sunrise on September 10.

"There will be time for reflection and words to speak about loved ones. People are invited to bring a flower to celebrate their life," she said.

With the ongoing global health pandemic that is COVID-19, Ms Robinson said life has certainly become challenging for many, which is why she urged them to come and connect with others during these walks.

"Connection is important, sometimes though people disconnect and are isolated so need us to reach out to them when they are feeling unable or unwilling to reach out," she said.

The Bathurst walk starts at the Bathurst and Districts Vietnam Veterans memorial park on Boundary road at 5:30am please rsvp reception@lifelinecentralwest.org.au or call 1300 798 258.

If enough numbers register multiple walks will be held and listed on www.outoftheshadows.org.au/localwalks

Lifeline Central West will also be holding a virtual garden where people can 'plant a flower' in memory of someone lost to suicide or for someone currently in need of help.

You can view the virtual garden by visiting www.outoftheshadows.org.au

If you or someone you know is struggling please call 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), or chat online at www.lifeline.org.au

This story Lifeline Central West hosting Out of the Shadows events this month first appeared on Western Magazine.