House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Statements by Members

World Suicide Prevention Day, R U OK? Day

1:38 pm

Photo of Emma McBrideEmma McBride (Dobell, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health) Share this | | Hansard source

Today, Tuesday 10 September, is World Suicide Prevention Day and this Thursday is R U OK? Day. The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 is working together to prevent suicide and has been chosen internationally as it highlights the most essential ingredient for suicide prevention: collaboration. In my community on the New South Wales Central Coast, the Iris Foundation has created the Tree of Dreams. A tree in the grounds of the Wyong Milk Factory is adorned with hundreds of colourful tags sharing messages of hope, strength, support and remembrance from people whose lives have been impacted by suicide. On Sunday, the Iris Foundation, alongside the Tree of Dreams, held River of Reflections. As the sun set, people wrote messages on paper lanterns and floated them down the Wyong River to honour and respect those lost, their lives lived and their love and the gifts they gave.

On 12 September the local Lions Club will hold a free barbecue to raise awareness about mental health in the workplace. Local events held across Australia this week help to foster hope, break down stigma and isolation and create healthier communities. As they say with R U Okay? Day, you don't need to be an expert to reach out; you just need to be a good friend and a great listener.