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Kings Park Walk a New Dawn for Those in the Shadow of Suicide

10 SEP 2019

Kings Park walk a new dawn for those in the shadow of suicide teaser

Perth residents touched by suicide will draw comfort from the early morning beauty of Kings Park and a sense of fellowship with people who have been similarly affected at Lifeline WA’s Out of the Shadows walk.

Departing from Wadjuk carpark at 5am on September 7, the free event gives people from diverse backgrounds and communities a chance to remember loved ones lost to suicide.

Held in the lead-up to World Suicide Prevention Day, the event is commemorating its 10th year.

Lifeline WA chief executive officer Lorna MacGregor said the walk was part of a concerted effort to address the impact of suicide on West Australians.

“Research shows that 135 people are affected for each person who dies by suicide and Lifeline WA holds this event to bring people together to support each other,” she said.

“We hope those that attend will feel a sense of solidarity with the other walkers and emerge from the pre-dawn darkness bolstered by the experience.

“We would encourage anyone in this situation to take this opportunity to reflect, remember and raise awareness.”

For some Perth residents, the annual walk has become a fixture in their calendar as they seek to continue their journey of healing.

Among those is Ocean Reef Senior High School chaplain Matthew Bartlett, who first attended seven years ago following the death by suicide of one of the school’s students.

“We started attending the walk as a way of supporting the student’s family, and since then we have had other members of our school community die by suicide,” he said.

“The walk has become a part of our annual rhythm, we continue to attend as our community moves towards hope and healing.”

Mr Bartlett said he saw the walk as a way to remind people that they have hope and will be able to move on.

“It provides a sacred space for those affected by suicide to support one another,” he said.

“Gathering in large numbers reminds us that we will never walk alone.”

In addition to the walk, the event will include a short ceremony remembering those lost to suicide, followed by a morning tea.

To register for the walk, please email reception@lifelinewa.org.au with details of the size of your group.