On Thursday 10 September 2020, Lifeline Darling Downs honoured World Suicide Prevention Day through our Out of the Shadows event and the promotion of the R U OK? campaign. 

R U OK? is a suicide prevention organisation that encourages people to reach out, connect and have open healthy conversations around mental health and suicide. They aim to empower everyone to get involved and follow these four steps to change – and potentially save – a life 

  1. Ask ‘are you ok?’ 
  1. Listen 
  1. Encourage action 
  1. Check in 

Each year, Lifeline aspires to reduce stigma by bringing the topic of suicide out of the shadows and into the lightremembering those who have been lost to suicideand raising awareness around the support available for those who are struggling. 

 It is important for people thinking about ending their own life to understand that they are not alone, and help is available.

Lifeline Australia’s Chairman, John Brogden said “we aim to ensure that people feel connected and aware of the support and compassion that is around them”. 

The social isolation as a result of the COVID-19 crisis has left many who are struggling or grieving to feel disconnected and alone with their pain.  

Due to the COVID-19 physical distancing guidelinesthe usual candlelight vigil had to be reconsidered this year, and Lifeline Darling Downs encouraged the community to engage with the Out of the Shadows virtual garden. This garden has allowed people to donate and ‘plant a flower’ of remembrance or a message of support and hope for those who are struggling or have lost a loved one to suicide.  

In 2018, the last reporting period, there were 3,048 lives lost to suicide in Australia, with each leaving families, friends, colleagues and communities devastated 

Every 3 hours a person takes their own life in Australia and it is the leading cause of death amongst those aged 15-44 yearsIt is important for people thinking about ending their own life to understand that they are not alone, and help is available.” Lifeline Darling Downs, Acting CEO, Rachelle Patterson said. 

This year’s Out of the Shadows has provided a new way to find connection and support though the virtual garden. 

If you are or someone you know is struggling call Lifeline at 13 11 14.