Tackling suicide together

TRIBUTE: Hundreds of locals participated in the Roses in the Ocean Walk last year to pay tribute to loved ones lost to suicide.
TRIBUTE: Hundreds of locals participated in the Roses in the Ocean Walk last year to pay tribute to loved ones lost to suicide.

Behind every suicide are the individual stories of those who have, for many different reasons, questioned the value of their own lives.

Each one of these individuals is part of a community. Some may be well linked in to this community, others may be less well connected, and some may be quite isolated.

Regardless of the circumstances, communities have an important role to play in supporting those who are vulnerable.

This sentiment is reflected in the theme of the 2019 World Suicide Prevention Day: 'Working Together to Prevent Suicide' which highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention: Collaboration.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year - one person every 40 seconds.

In addition to these deaths there is a much larger number of people that attempt suicide, many of whom go unreported.

On Sunday, September 8 the Whyalla community will come together to recognise World Suicide Prevention Day to make a positive impact on community mental health and wellbeing by holding the Walking Together to prevent suicide walk.

Community members are invited to walk together from Sempre Café to the foreshore where all registered participants will be provided with a rose to place in the ocean to raise awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day, remembering our love ones lost to suicide and reduce the stigma for those that live with suicidal thoughts.

Roses are a beautiful dignified flower, yet their thorns add complexity, requiring handling with care. They are symbolic of our deepest emotions: love, friendship, sorrow hope.

The ocean, with its waves crashing upon the shore and calmer waters out deep, provide a symbolic platform of the turbulence felt by people who are coping with a difficult stage in their life and indeed for some, coping with suicidal thoughts.

Placing roses in the ocean is:

  • Representative of your ability to reach out and connect to others with understanding, acceptance and support
  • Indicative of your preparedness to ask for help
  • Acknowledgement of all the lives lost to suicide
  • Demonstrative of your desire to place an active role in suicide prevention

Local groups and services such as Centacare, Country SA Primary Health Network, Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network, The Healing Foundation, Nicolson Avenue Primary School, headspace and INATT are hosting the event.

It is about connecting with community and services, communicating with each other and caring for those around us. Together we can help build a more resilient community.