MEMBERS STATEMENTS-Mitchell Shire Suicide Prevention Network

Mitchell Shire Suicide Prevention Network

Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria) (12:41:50) — Today I would like to use my members statement to praise the Mitchell Shire Suicide Prevention Network, which recently invited Labor federal member for McEwen Rob Mitchell and Mitchell shire community groups and representatives to the Help Save a Life Walk event at Kilmore Racecourse. We were all brought together for the common purpose of helping to prevent and alleviate the suffering caused by suicide.

Unfortunately, growing up in country Victoria, I know it is a sad reality that the majority of communities that I represent have dealt with suicide, whether they be of family or friends. I have spoken in this house before about how suicide has affected my family personally. It was really pleasant to join Jane Cleland at the walk, with whom I got to walk around the track. Jane and her husband, Michael, lost their daughter Jess almost four years ago to suicide, so it was nice for her to be able to tell me about her beautiful, forever 19‑year‑old daughter and to hear about her dedication now to working with the Bully Zero Australia Foundation.

What was fantastic about the Mitchell Shire Suicide Prevention Network event is that we all share the same push to educate the community about the assistance and help that is available. The event allowed various groups and services within our community to better understand where they complement each other and how we as a community can work together to not only reduce suicide but also help those who are left behind. As the local Labor member I am very proud of my community around Kilmore and the Mitchell shire and their dedication in this regard. I look forward to their further efforts in not only stopping suicides from happening but also looking at strategies to assist those who are dealing with it.