SILENCE fell upon the reflective gardens at Vansittart Park on Monday as those affected by the impacts of suicide gathered together for International Suicide Survivors Day.
A small group attended the event which provides an opportunity for families to honour loved ones and offer support.
StandBy Support After Suicide coordinator Tracey Wanganeen spoke about the normality of experiencing emotions following a traumatic event.
“This day is an important day to bring people together,” Ms Wanganeen said.
“A lot of people deal with their grief on their own and they may have felt judged in the past so coming together like this allows them to see other people care.”
“This event was an opportunity for people to come together and feel supported.”
Ms Wanganeen said the event provided attendees with a chance to connect with others in the community and share their stories of healing and hope, with the group providing support to those bereaved or impacted by suicide.
“Those who have lost someone to suicide actually have a higher risk of suicide themselves,” Ms Wanganeen said.
“That is why it is important we provide this service whether it be within a workplace, a community or within a family.”
“We are lessening others’ risk of suicide and I think a lot of what we are doing is also normalising some of the emotions felt when affected by suicide,” she said.
“A bereavement or a loss of any kind is distressing, but suicide adds extra layers to the grief and loss.”
Ms Wanganeen said there was always the ability to reach out for help despite stereotypes.
“We are now reversing this stigma and showing that you are strong if you do reach out because there is always hope out there, whether it be from a friend or a service.”
Contact Ms Wanganeen on 0437 752 458 or email email@example.com for more information.