As candles flickered last Sunday evening a small but dedicated group gathered at Bushman's Dam to reflect and remember those we have lost to suicide in the last 12 months to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day.
The Lachlan Area Suicide Prevention Network members offered information and support to those who are grieving because of the loss of a loved one who went too early due to suicide.
Information was also made available for those who want to offer assistance to someone they are worried about.
“With RUOK Day also this week, we want to remind people it is good to ask ‘are you ok?’ but it is more important to say ‘no I need help’ and to seek help if you need it," Rural Adversity Mental Health Consultant (RAMHP) and Lachlan Area Suicide Prevention Network member Di Gill said.
BaptistCare Niola Centre Chaplain Liesel Walters delivered a reflection with prayers focusing on the loved ones lost to suicide and to support and uphold the bereaved families left behind.
She also read a poem written from the perspective of someone who had taken their life speaking to those left behind (see below).
Liesel said suicide prevention begins with the awareness that someone who is depressed may have a plan to take their own life.
“It is so important to actually ask the question even though it is a hard one to ask,” she said.
“In my role as a Chaplain in aged care I have come to realise that depression and not wanting to be in life anymore affects so many people across the whole spectrum of society.
“Starting that conversation can help and indeed does save lives.”
Reflection by Y Docherty
Another day for you to wonder, another day for you to mourn
It wasn't my intention to go before the coming dawn
My pain was deep within my heart and troubled head
It wasn't my intention to go without words said.
My frame of mind seemed normal, or so I heard them say
It wasn't my intention not to see another day
I did not mean to make you suffer or cause you so much pain
It wasn't my intention to never see you again.
Despair and confusion left my aching mind unsure
It wasn't my intention to suddenly close life's door
If only I could give you reasons and brush the tears away
It wasn't my intention to leave and not stay.
I did not mean for you to grieve, now left alone to cry
It wasn't my intention to leave you, forever asking why
As the burdens of life's worries slowly ebb from my heart
It wasn't my intention to tear your soul apart.
The suicide prevention Network meets at 6pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the Uniting Church in Parkes.