Mount Isa marches for suicide prevention

SUICIDE PREVENTION: The aim of the march on Monday night was plain to see. Photo: Derek Barry
SUICIDE PREVENTION: The aim of the march on Monday night was plain to see. Photo: Derek Barry

Suicide is “a permanent fix for a temporary problem” as one speaker starkly put it after the Mount Isa march against suicide on Monday.

For the seventh successive year, over a hundred locals walked from Frank Aston Car Park to the Civic Centre where they gathered to honour lost loved ones and friends and hopefully help others in need.

In her Welcome to Kalkadoon Country Jenny Watts said Indigenous people in Australia had the highest suicide rates in the world.

“Everyone has lost someone to suicide and it is something that never leaves you,” Ms Watts said.

“When you have lost a child to suicide the grief continues on forever.”

Father Mick Lowcock spoke of the need to create a sense of mystery.

“Just watching those birds fly in is a little reminder to us to say there is a whole world out there of nature that we sometime don’t even think about,” he said.

“Mystery is what we need to cultivate in our lives to make our life meaningful so that when failure hits us, there also something richer and deeper than what we’ve just experienced.”

Ambulance officer Andrew spoke of the effect of suicide on first responders.

“Emergency workers face horrors in their work most people can’t imagine,” he said.

“Unless you’ve been there you wouldn’t know.

“If you fall over and cut yourself it is a visible wound but mental health is invisible – but it is just as much a medical condition as high blood pressure.

Fellow first responder Sgt Renee Hanrahan of Queensland Police Service said emergency services staff are lost to suicide at a rate of one every six weeks.

“This is something hard we are working hard towards in our emergency services family, and what we preach to others about getting help is one of the hardest things to do for those officers,” she said.

“There’s an expectation in this role you’ll be stronger than everybody else.”

Special guest was the CEO and Founder of The Rogue and Rouge Foundation and former National Mental Health Commissioner Nicole Gibson who conducted a group exercise and urged people to overcome fear with love.