Small steps target suicide: Jacky Moore and Martin Jess beside one of three trees planted during last year’s walk at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale
LIFELINE’S annual Out of the Shadows and into the Light walk will be held at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, to remember those who had committed suicide.
Support for the walk, now in its fourth year, has continued to grow every year from 20 people (2011) to 50 (2012) and 180 (2013).
Lifeline Macarthur crisis support manager Jacky Moore said they hoped for a turnout of more than 200 this year but “in a perfect world we wouldn’t need anyone at all”.
Last week the reality of suicide was highlighted in the public again following the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams.
Mrs Moore said calls to Lifeline skyrocketed following Williams’ death.
“With the suicide of Robin Williams there was an outpouring of grief within the community,” she said.
“Phone calls went up by 25 per cent in the few days [following his death].”
Mrs Moore said of major concern were figures showing suicide was at a 10-year high.
“They are the reported suicides,” she said.
Those involved with the event will walk 2500 metres to represent the 2500 people who took their lives in the last year.
Mrs Moore said it was a way for friends and family to remember those who had taken their own life.
“I think it’s nice people have a place to go where they can remember and connect with others who have lost someone to suicide,” she said.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians under the age of 44.
World Suicide Prevention Day will be held on September 10.
Details: Out of the Shadows and into the Light, September 6, 8am, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, 4645 7200, [email protected]
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