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A group of suicide prevention experts in Sydney’s East is calling for residents in the area to take part in an event with a difference to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday September 10th.
The Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network, which usually holds a walk in Rose Bay to mark the date, is instead asking for people to walk by themselves, or with a friend, take a selfie and post it to their social media channels, tagging the network on Facebook @EasternSydneySPN
Network Chairman, Carlos Duarte, who is a psychologist with expertise in mental health, alcohol and other drug issues says it’s particularly important to reach out and connect with others now, to help decrease the sense of isolation people are experiencing during the pandemic.
“We are particularly worried that this prolonged isolation is having a profound impact on the mental health of the whole community,” says Carlos Duarte, who works with the Haymarket Foundation, which has a focus on those who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness or marginalised in other ways.
“Unfortunately, we expect that suicide will increase over the next few years,” he says.
Research by the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre released in early August shows that even in a “best-case scenario”, Australia is forecast to see an increase in suicide deaths of “at least” 13.7% over the next 5 years[i].
The Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network runs the “Suicide Impacting Me Support Group” to help people who have been impacted directly or indirectly by suicide. The support group is non-denominational, open to everyone and professionally facilitated by two clinical psychologists.
The meetings are currently being held via video conference.
The work is a partnership between JewishCare and the Haymarket Foundation, with ongoing funding from Woollahra Council. Seed funding for the Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network was provided by Wesley Mission.
For anyone wanting to go to or contact the Suicide Impacting Me Support Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those wishing to find out more about the Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network should go through the Facebook page