It's time to bring suicide out of the shadows

SUICIDE AWARENESS: Uniting Care Community counsellor Alex Johnson and Lifeline coordinator Darlene Terry encourage everyone to join in the Out of the Shadows and Into the Light walk as part of suicide prevention week. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SUICIDE AWARENESS: Uniting Care Community counsellor Alex Johnson and Lifeline coordinator Darlene Terry encourage everyone to join in the Out of the Shadows and Into the Light walk as part of suicide prevention week. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

IT'S one of the biggest killers in Australia and yet it's something people rarely talk about.

But a Bundaberg group is hoping to change that by bringing the subject of suicide out of the shadows.

As the sun rises over the sea in Bargara on Wednesday Lifeline is hoping the region's residents join Australians all over the country in an Out of the Shadows into the Light walk.

UnitingCare Community Bundaberg counsellor Alex Johnson said suicide was the biggest killer of men under 44 in Australia, and of women under 35.

"We hear about heart disease and cancer and other chronic illnesses, but we never hear about suicide," he said.

Mr Johnson said there was an increasing number of people walking through the door at the organisation looking for help.

"It's quite a significant problem in the region," he said.

While the issue of suicide was a problem Australia-wide, Mr Johnson said it was more complex in areas of high disadvantage.

"Bundaberg and the Wide Bay rate among the highest areas of disadvantage in the country," he said.

Mr Johnson said there could be multiple triggers to lead to people thinking about suicide.

"It could be a relationship breaking down, or the loss of a job," he said.

There could also be small triggers over the years until one seemingly trivial event is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

"Someone might have a pet that dies," Mr Johnson said.

"To other people that might not mean much, but to them it's a big deal."

Lifeline co-ordinator Darlene Terry said a few years ago they were only called on to do two or three interventions a week.

But now they were dealing with three or four a day.

"I did four interventions on Tuesday," she said.

Wednesday's walk starts at 5.30am from the Bargara Streetscape decking on the Esplanade to Jack Schuhkraft Walk Park.

To register visit 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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