Mak­ing Light walk work

Sui­cide recog­ni­tion grows through event

Guardian Express - - FRONT PAGE - Ju­lian Wright

LIFE­LINE WA’s an­nual Out of the Shad­ows and Into the Light walk is dif­fer­ent ev­ery year; more and more people at­tend who have been im­pacted by sui­cide.

Ros Wor­thing­ton started the walk nine years ago when she dis­cov­ered there was no sup­port sys­tem af­ter her hus­band took his own life in 2002.

The walk is held ahead of World Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion Day, which falls on Septem­ber 10 this year.

“The dif­fer­ence is ev­ery year it grows,” she said.

“There’s go­ing to be new people there that have lost loved ones since the last walk in the last year to sui­cide.

“I have a close fam­ily friend who lost her nephew four weeks ago, at 38, so all their fam­ily are com­ing.”

She said it was im­por­tant to elim­i­nate the stigma at­tached to those who were griev­ing the death of those who took their own life.

“I started it to cre­ate a sol­i­dar­ity or a unity for those of us who lost loved ones,” she said.

“There was noth­ing for us; we couldn’t go and do a march and a walk be­cause there was shame at­tached to it and stigma.

“It’s been my fo­cus to rid the shame and stigma.”

Life­line WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Lorna MacGre­gor said 85 per cent of Aus­tralians knew some­one who took their own life.

“Three hun­dred and sev­enty-one West Aus­tralians died by sui­cide in 2016, and re­search shows that for ev­ery per­son that dies, 135 people are im­pacted by their death,” she said.

“We would en­cour­age any­one who has been af­fected by the death of a loved one through sui­cide to take part in this event.”

The free event will be held on Septem­ber 8 in Kings Park from 5am to 7am, start­ing at the Wad­juk carpark.

There will be a cer­e­mony at Roe Gar­den be­fore a walk through the gar­dens to emerge at the War Me­mo­rial.

To regis­ter, email james dale­sio@life­linewa.org.au, in­clud­ing the num­ber of people in your group.

Life­line’s 24/7 tele­phone cri­sis sup­port service is avail­able on 13 11 14.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486130

Ros Wor­thing­ton’s personal ex­pe­ri­ence of sui­cide mo­ti­vated her to start the Kings Park walk.

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