Join a walk to prevent suicide

THE Clarence Valley community has been cut deeply by suicide in the past 12 months and organisers of Saturday's Out of the Shadows Walk in Grafton are hoping the event will bring the taboo subject of suicide into the light.

Saturday's walk, from See Park to Memorial Park in Grafton, is a lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday.

It is also part of Lifeline's national response to suicide, recovery, reflection and prevention.

Coffs Harbour-based Lifeline trainer/supervisor Lyn Anderson said there was a team of about 12 telephone crisis-support volunteers in the Grafton area and the team was well-regarded in the organisation.

Quoting Lifeline figures, Ms Anderson said upwards of six Australians were lost to suicide every day, making it the leading cause of death for those under 44.

"It's much higher than the road toll," she said.

Ms Anderson said there were many cases in which suicide may be suspected but was not proven or questions remained so the actual suicide rate was likely to be higher again.

"We want people to talk more about suicide and not be afraid to check on those who might be thinking of it," she said.

In the interests of raising awareness and offering support to those bereaved by suicide, Grafton Lifeline volunteer Kevin Donoghue would like to see a good turnout to Saturday's event.

"I just want people to be involved and for people to know that help is there; all you have to do is make that call," he said.

He asked those intending to join the walk to register themselves and guests on the website

 Saturday's walk is scheduled to start between 8.15am-8.30am at See Park.

 Training for Lifeline crisis support volunteers begins in Grafton on October 8. For more information contact the Coffs Harbour office on 6651 4093.

 Those feeling vulnerable should contact Lifeline on 131 114. If life is in immediate danger call 000.

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