Suicide stats hit hard
The region’s tragedies are too many
AS WORLD Suicide Prevention Day rolls around on Sunday, Brent Simpson has one message for people of the Tweed: you are not alone.
Mr Simpson, of Murwillumbah, is the founder of the Heavyhiterz Foundation.
After overcoming his own suicide attempts – three times – he’s built an international community of people from all walks of life who come together in support through tough times.
He said the foundation’s Facebook group had gathered some 4000 members in just a few years.
“It’s a safe space for people to be able to open up about how they’re feeling and reaching out,” he said.
But there’s a long way to go yet.
“In Murwillumbah alone in January there were 11 recorded suicides,” Mr Simpson said.
He feared the hardships faced by many in the Tweed this year might only see this number escalate.
While the waters of the April floods have long subsided, Mr Simpson – who delivered pizzas to Murwillumbah families during the disaster – said many were still reeling from the loss this brought.
Mr Simpson was this year part of the National Suicide Prevention Convention in Brisbane and has been involved with the Tweed Byron Suicide Prevention Committee.
He said despite all the money going into large organisations targeted at addressing suicide rates, the statistics were only rising.
“They’ve not reduced,” he said.
“There’s a lot to be answered for.”
But he said allowing people to connect through lived experience was a step in the right direction.
Mr Simpson urged people to remember on World Suicide Prevention Day tomorrow, and on all days, it’s not weak to reach out for help.
“It’s important to know you are not alone,” Mr Simpson said.
HIGH HOPES: Heavyhiterz Foundation founder Brent Simpson hopes to help more people reach out in times of personal hardship.