LIFELINE’S Out of the Shadows and into the Light community walk is an annual event that sees thousands of Australians gather around the country on World Suicide Day.
It is just one of the many initiatives thought up by selfless people in a bid to try and cut the rate of suicide and raise the awareness of crippling mental illnesses.
Lea-Ann Foord is one such community member who has been personally affected by suicide, with her brother taking his own life 20 years ago.
It is since then that she has been involved with Lifeline Port Macquarie, taking calls from those who are thinking about doing the unthinkable.
Ms Foord said the Out of the Shadows walk was incredibly beneficial for the community. It was held in Port Macquarie on Thursday.
“It’s not only a way of honouring those that we know who we have lost to suicide, but it is letting those in our community who struggle with thoughts or have attempted suicide that we care for them and that they can ask for help,” she said.
“Everybody has someone who cares for them, but sadly when you are in a dark place people cannot see that.
“I think there is so much shame and stigma around suicide. Sometimes people are really struggling with suicidal thoughts that sometimes they consciously let us know that they are thinking about it.”
There are workshops held to teach crisis supporters and that training is available to all members of the community, Ms Foord said.
A workshop at Club Forster will be held on September 24 and 25 and at Wauchope RSL Club on November 10 and 11. For more phone 6581 2800.