PEOPLE who have lost loved ones to suicide are invited to lean on each other for support on White Wreath Day this week.
Flowers, messages and photos of the deceased can be placed at the Civic Green in Warrnambool from 11.30am to 5.30pm on Thursday.
At last year’s inaugural event, people from all walks of life quietly remembered family and friends lost to suicide, letting others know that they were not alone in their struggle.
Most importantly, according to event organiser Lynny Mast, it was an opportunity for members of the community to support each other.
“I think it’s something we don’t talk about enough,” Mrs Mast said.
“There are so many suicides in our region that people just don’t talk about.
“What this day does is create awareness of how many people we’re losing in our community and region.
“It allows those people who lost family or friends to come down and lay a wreath in remembrance of their loved one, but also to share their story with people who have been through similar things.
“By doing that you’re helping each other heal.
“It’s important to support each other and talk about these things.
“It’s important not to focus on the sadness but on coming together as a community and supporting each other because talking about it has been proven as a preventative measure.”
Last year, 55 wreaths were laid at the Civic Green and people are again invited to lay a wreath, poem, flowers or sentimental memorabilia in remembrance of those who have taken their own lives.
National White Wreath Day has been held annually on May 29 since 2000, but Warrnambool’s event is now the only one in Victoria.
Proceeds from white wreaths sold help raise money for the White Wreath Association to assist those needing urgent mental health treatment and ongoing care.
For help or information visit beyondblue.org.au, call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, or Lifeline on 131 114.