UNDER the number nine lives lost to suicide in Australia each day are nine people who contributed and connected with others, Ballarat and District Suicide Awareness Network chairman says.
One hundred and thirty-seven names of lives lost to suicide will be read aloud in the network's annual Out of Shadows walk, which will once again shift to an online format.
Network chairman, Ballarat police Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson, said it was important to remember the contribution and impact each of these lives had made but also for the event to offer support, awareness and hope.
Research from the first year of the pandemic shows Victoria's suicide rates have remained at pre-pandemic levels, data that has been reinforced by an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released on Friday.
At the same time, the report shows the proportion of people experiencing psychological distress was high early in the pandemic but has continued to be higher among young people.
It's a positive thing that people are reaching out.Des Hudson, Ballarat and District Suicide Awareness Network chairman
"There is a greater uptake in people reaching out to crisis support organisations like Beyond Blue. Lifeline and Kids Helpline. It's a positive thing that people are reaching out," Leading Senior Constable Hudson said.
"We encourage people to check in with those around them, to have the confidence to ask someone if they are okay and the confidence to dig deeper and refer to professional support if needed.
"People are tired of lockdown. While we're doing what we can to prevent the spread, it does impact on businesses and schooling. It's important we look after our own health and well-being, too."
IN OTHER NEWS
Community members are invited to join the event from Saturday, 5.30am on the network's Facebook page. The event will run for about 20 minutes with reflection points and will finish, as is tradition, while dawn is breaking in a symbol of hope in a new day.
This follows national RU OK Day and World Suicide Prevention Day.
The event will also be available for people to watch later in their own time.
- Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
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