Keeping an eye on loved ones
SUICIDE prevention awareness has been put firmly on the community radar following the weekend's Proserpine Rodeo Association event.
The rodeo raised vital funds to support A Mile in their Shoes and the Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network.
A Mile in their Shoes president Jack Lumby said events such as the rodeo were crucial to tackling this devastating issue.
"We have seen what one person's suicide can do, they create a cancer within our community and take away life pleasures from those around them,” he said.
"We are sick and tired of burying our friends and our friends' children to suicide and we are making a stand to take up the fight against suicide.”
The Proserpine Rodeo Association event was designed to not only raise funds for suicide prevention, but to also give members of the community a reason to smile and enjoy the outstanding entertainment on show.
Mr Lumby offered key words of advice for anyone in the community going through a difficult time.
"My advice for everyone is to talk to family friends and the community and do not keep it held inside you,” he said.
"There are people and agencies that can help you, like Whitsunday Mental Health at Proserpine Hospital, Lifeline and your doctor, you do not need to suffer alone.”
As Christmas approaches people are encouraged to keep an eye on their friends and ask the all-important question: Are you okay?
Mr Lumby said the Proserpine Rodeo Association had already received a request for the rodeo to be held prior to Christmas next year.
Local rodeo champion Owen Lee praised the organisers of the rodeo for putting on a fantastic show.
"The biggest thing with Jack Lumby and Walk A Mile in their Shoes is there is not another rodeo like this around the country,” he said.
"The money it raises for such a good cause is just incredible.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing a hard time please contact Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36.