The sun-drenched town of Cannonvale in the Whitsundays was the setting of a week-long focus on mental health and suicide prevention.
140 delegates and 27 speakers from across Australia came together for a suicide prevention conference hosted by Wesley LifeForce, a leading advocate for advising and supporting communities across Australia in suicide prevention and mental health.
The conference brought together key stakeholders, network representatives and community mental health organisations to share, learn and advocate for suicide prevention services within Australia’s diverse communities
Speakers representing key organisations presented on topics like supporting mental wellbeing, building resilience, and research in suicide and mental health. Delegates participated in workshops, building on their practical skills to assist communities better.
The conference focused on the themes of recovery, rebuilding and resilience, proving a valuable experience for attendees, most of whom volunteer their time to educate and support those touched by suicide within their community.
“It was a profoundly beautiful life experience that will stay with me forever,” said one attendee. “We were so beautifully looked after, felt so valued, left exhausted, a little bit fragile, but so inspired and connected – I wouldn’t change that.”
The conference was capped off with a memorial service to remember those who lost their lives to suicide.
Locals, emergency service personnel, police, local businesses and delegates of the Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Conference gathered as Whitsundays local Renee Martin shared a testimony of love, grief and hope. The core message: you are not alone.
Attendees took the opportunity to cast sunflowers, symbols of longevity, off the boardwalk at Airlie Beach into the waters of Pioneer Bay in a show of solidarity and hope.
These services are held throughout the year, and throughout the country by Wesley LifeForce. They provide an opportunity for people affected by suicide to reflect and support each other together in a spirit of comfort and hope.
If you require support, please contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.