On Friday the 10th of September 2021 marked the day for Alice Springs Suicide Prevention Day. World Suicide Prevention Day is a yearly event to reflect on the impact of suicide on families and communities and highlight suicide prevention initiatives.
This event was held on the town council lawns and involved many organisations in Alice Springs, including Mental Health Association of Central Australia, Alice Springs Town Council, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia, Children’s Ground, Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Central Australia, Akeyulerre, Headspace, Lifeline, 8CCC Community Radio, CONGRESS and Disability Support Agency, as well as some very brave individual key speakers who stood up and graciously shared their stories.
A beautiful smoking ceremony was conducted by the Central Arrernte Traditional owners which was a great opportunity for all who attended to meet & experience cultural traditions & for individuals who had lost someone to this cause to lay a flower, for their loved ones & meet & speak individually to each other.
The Gap Youth and Community Centre was honoured to be asked to speak at this event, Alice from the Late-Night Program shared with the community the ways in which our organisation, and individual programs, works with our community to prevent suicide. Alice invited individuals & the community to come down to the Gap Youth and Community Centre to have a look & meet the staff to see what the Gap Youth and Community Centre offers & hopefully will encourage the community to be a part of the programs we provide.
It was great to meet people that were new to Alice Springs and to see so many familiar faces & Organisations who had come out to support this cause as we know that we have all experienced suicide within our families, friends & loved ones. It was great to see so many Organisations as it provided a networking platform for all of these organisations to catch up & meet new Stakeholders who have not had the opportunity to network together & continue to advocate & be strong within the community against this ongoing issue which effects so many lives & families.
Alice Springs is such a small town but if we all unite and work together the outcome for our community will be that much more powerful. The Gap Youth and Community Centre was very privileged to be a part of this day. Thanks again to MHACA for running this event & inviting the Gap Youth and Community Centre.
Special thanks to Darren Porter, Rebecca Hampton, Alice Ross & L-J Voris who represented GYC at the 2021 event.