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Crowd takes comfort at suicide memorial: you are not alone

16 September 2016 Wesley Mission news

SetWidth680 Wesley LifeForce SunflowerHowling winds couldn’t prevent the crowds from gathering on the Sydney Opera House forecourt for the annual Wesley LifeForce Suicide Memorial Service this week. Invited by MC, Simon Marnie, in a spirit of comfort and hope, the message was clear – you are not alone.

This service is an integral part of the Wesley LifeForce. Established in 1995, the program aims to support people and communities impacted by suicide while equipping others to help prevent suicide in society.

Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death amongst Australians ….? Greg Van Brusson does but he also knows what he values most.

“Statistics are fine but 

for me, every life matters, one life lost is too much.”

The Suicide Prevention Australia ambassador went on to share his inspirational experiences with suicide and how he’s dedicated his working life to help address the problem.

Guest speaker, Wendy McWilliams, echoed these thoughts in sharing the keys to supporting people impacted by suicide.

“Communication, community and gratitude.”

Rev Keith Garner reminded us all that we are not alone and offered hope to all gathered.

“If I could encourage you to do anything today it would be to look after yourself. Take time to care for yourself and remember... you are not alone.”

Drawing on personal experiences dealing with difficulties and supporting people though theirs, Rev Keith Garner reminded us of the uniqueness of our challenges.

“People will often say ‘I understand’ but they don’t. We can’t possibly understand the loss you feel losing someone you care for dearly but we can show them love.”

Supported by music from Rebekah Millard, Carol Garner invited guests to join her in casting sunflowers into Sydney Harbour to remember the lives lost to suicide.

Guests were also invited to place a message and/or photos to the memorial wall at the service. A feature of all of our memorial services, it offers the opportunity pay tribute to the lives lost. If you couldn’t be with us on the day and would like to contribute to the memorial wall, there is an online option available.