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LifeLine Out of the Shadows Walk

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by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Event:
Help Raise Awareness on Something that Affects Millions
Discussing our daily struggle in life is unfortunately still a taboo subject in our society

Our country is known as the "Lucky Country". Employment is good, education is comparatively better than most nations, and our health infrastructure is generous. So there should be nothing to complain about but when we do, we're constantly reminded not to cry over spilt milk.

"It will be alright mate" is mostly what we hear from others. Or sleep on it, and you'll be fine tomorrow.

But when we're not feeling well, or something seems to be amiss, "it will be alright mate," doesn't suffice.

It starts with a sleepless night, lack of appetite, loss of interest on activities that we used to enjoy, At times our heart seems to miss a beat.

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Alcohol or drugs become our best friend. Shedding tears for no apparent reason.

We stopped caring about how we look. Mobile phones that we can't do without are now always in silent mode. Work had begun to suffer.

Darkness has set in. We had fallen into the abyss, and there is no way out. Except...suicide..

The grim reaper's invitation to join him is tantalizing. The Angel of Light is in the shadows, waiting for us to be re-deemed.

Sounds drastic? It is not.

In this country, suicide is the leading cause of death for people who are between the age of 15 and 44, and approximately seven people commit suicide everyday.

Stigma and fear are one of the reasons as to why we avoid discussing suicide or mental health issues. We feel that our friends will ostracize us.

We fear that our family will disown us if we talk about the voices in our head.

It's treated like a contagious disease so therefore it must be contained in a confine secret space.

Until it's too late.

So, how can we be of help?

How can you help someone who is inflicted with this pain?

Do you care enough to notice that a person is in distress?

For those who suffer from depression or merely just want someone to talk to, there are organizations like Lifeline who are available 24 hours a day.

For friends and families who thinks that there is something drastically wrong with their loved ones, reach out. Perhaps encourage them to talk about their issues or steer them to seek professional help.

Easier said than done.

Lifeline, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th of September had organised an event to highlight the need to increase suicide awareness, and reduce the stigma towards sufferers.

Lifeline is encouraging everyone to take part and join them for a walk "Out of the Shadow, and Into the Light" .

It will start from Tench Reserve which is near the boat ramp at the Penrith side of the river, then around the Nepean river. There will also be some light refreshment halfway through the way. The walk should take about 1 1.5 hours to finish.

People will have an ample opportunity to share their stories or offer some encouragement to others.

Your participation will not only help increase awareness but it's also a chance to enlighten yourself on something that affects millions worldwide, and perhaps learn some lessons that we may be able to share with our friends and family.

So let us help those in the shadows and lead them into the light.

For further information please contact Jay jmcgarrity1@bigpond.com

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Why? To raise awareness on suicide
When: 13/09/2014
Where: Tench Reserve, Penrith
Cost: Free
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