Paul Burke and Ron Petterson of Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network.
Paul Burke and Ron Petterson of Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network.

Check in with loved ones ‘not just tomorrow, all the time’

RESIDENTS will be given the chance to remember and honour loved ones they lost to suicide in a ceremony in Airlie Beach tomorrow.

Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network will hold a memorial service tomorrow morning that coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day.

WSPN president Ron Petterson said the service would allow the community to support each other through the grieving process.

“There is a certain type of grief that comes when you’ve lost someone to suicide,” he said.

“There is an element of guilt and an element of people not knowing where to turn to, because if you approach someone and say you lost a family member in a car accident, people understand that.

“It’s important people have a place they can go and share that grief, because sharing grief also helps with healing.”

The service will be held at Whitsunday VMR on Altmann Ave at 7am.

At the end of the service, a sunflower ceremony will be held were people can take a flower and walk it down to the water to reflect on the passing of loved ones.

The event will also be streamed on the Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network Facebook page.

The service also aligns with R U OKAY? Day, a national day of action where Australians are urged to check in with their mates.

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Mr Petterson said coronavirus restrictions and challenges meant it was incredibly important for residents to reach out to their loved ones.

“What’s so important is that with everything going on in the world today, more so than any other time, we need to ask our friends, families and neighbours if they are okay and we really need to take a moment to listen to their answer,” he said.

“And not just tomorrow, all the time.”

If you or anyone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue provides free, around the clock counselling and support services over the phone on 1300 22 4636.


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