CANDLES with messages of love, hope and the names of loved ones passed floated on the water at Mildura’s Ornamental Lakes as people gathered to remember their loved ones who died by suicide.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day earlier this week, the small and dignified ceremony gave community members the opportunity to band together, share memories and even a hug Wednesday night.
Mildura Suicide Prevention Trial Project co-ordinator Merryl Whyte said suicide is a “complex and challenging issue” that impacts many in our community.
“The aim of the event was to encourage people to talk about suicide, with a focus on seeking help and connecting with each other to save lives,” Ms Whyte said.
“Bringing the topic of suicide out of the shadows and into the light is really important and goes a long way towards ensuring members of our community who have been touched by suicide do not feel alone.”
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia among people aged 15 to 44.
There were 3027 deaths by suicide in Australia in 2016 with an estimated 65,000 attempts made.
“Collaboration between the health and mental health service sectors, the community, government agencies and non-government services is vitally important if we are to address these statistics and bring about change in Victoria,” Ms Whyte said.
If you, or someone you know, needs help, you can call: Lifeline on 131 114; headspace on 1800 650 890; or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
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