World Suicide Prevention Day

11 September 2019

Matters of Interest 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:24): I rise today to speak about World Suicide Prevention Day, which was yesterday—and I thank members for wearing the yellow ribbons in recognition of that day—and to also speak about R U OK? Day, which is tomorrow, and to mention some of the many associated events held right around South Australia that have been held or are going to be held in the coming days, which are quite varied in their nature. 

Some examples of those include: on Sunday morning, the third Onkaparinga Seaside Walk for Suicide Prevention Day was held in somewhat inclement weather from Port Noarlunga South to Moana Surf Life Saving Club, conducted by the Let’s Talk Onkaparinga Suicide Prevention Network and the Rotary Club of Seaford, as part of Rotary’s Lift the Lid on Mental Illness program. I give great credit to the organisers of that walk. I know that despite the inclement weather there were still hundreds of people who took part in that, and I understand that more than $5,000 has been raised towards the establishment of a memorial park or garden in the Onkaparinga area in the near future. 

Later that day, the fourth Ride Against Suicide, which has been organised by Silent Ripples and its founder, Janet Kuys, arrived at the Royal Adelaide Show. This involved 300 motorbikes, and their riders of course, who took part in this ride from Mannum to Nuriootpa and Two Wells and into the Royal Show grounds, where I was pleased to greet them in the main arena. It was a great spectacle, one which I think was well received by those there on the final day of the Show. I want to acknowledge the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society for its great support of this event, which has grown enormously over the four years that it has taken place. 

Yesterday, I was privileged to open the Guinness World Record attempt for the largest mental health awareness lesson at the Priceline Stadium in Adelaide. This again shows the variation in the events and the way in which people in South Australia are engaged in these efforts. It was organised by the organisation I Am Worthmore and its founder, Mr Luke McLean. It was attended by many school students and it was an audience that I think is one of the great hopes for us to break down the stigma of talking about suicide and mental illness. I think that was a very commendable event. 

Tomorrow, on R U OK? Day, there are a number of events being held around South Australia. I am pleased that I will be able to attend, with the leader of the house, the Every Life Matters—Salisbury Suicide Prevention Network’s morning tea at the John Harvey Gallery. There is a range of other events around the state, from Port Lincoln to the Riverland, to Whyalla, to Mount Gambier and beyond, but one I thought I would mention also is the Student Wellbeing Day to be conducted at Port Adelaide. I think this is not the first of its type, but it is conducted jointly by TAFE SA, Relationships Australia SA and the Port Adelaide Suicide Prevention Network. 

Finally, I would like to add that I think all of these efforts go on top of the terrific work by many volunteers from government agencies and suicide prevention networks, the Issues Group on Suicide Prevention and the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention, towards the suicide prevention network stand at the Royal Show.