Professor praises SPAN walk

 HEADSPACE board member and psychiatrist Patrick McGorry says Bendigo’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Network walk is an excellent way to get people talking about suicide. 

The walk on March 24 aims to raise awareness of suicide in the community and to allow people to remember loved ones, friends, and colleagues lost.

Professor McGorry described suicide as one of Australia’s biggest killers that continued to be covered up. The former Australian of the Year said it was a difficult subject for people to talk about. 

“Grieving families can feel a sense of shame and can’t cope with it and can’t talk about,” Professor McGorry said. 

“There is often not enough support out there for families and they blame themselves.”

Professor McGorry said the awareness walk in Bendigo was a chance to reduce the stigma attached to suicide. 

He said regional cities like Bendigo were better equipped to understand suicide, compared to inner-city suburbs, as it was more openly talked about. 

“It becomes public knowledge more quickly,” Professor McGorry said. 

Professor McGorry said there weren’t enough support services for families and friends who had lost someone. 

“Many people are not equipped to understand what they are going through,” he said. 

“It is a much more complex thing, it is not like a car accident, people are treated differently after a suicide.” 

Professor McGorry congratulated the organisers of the event and hoped it was a successful event.

- Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are in need of immediate assistance or talk to someone you trust.

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