SPAN (Suicide Prevention Awareness Network) was started after a spate of horrific suicides in Geelong and affected family members, concerned community members and health professionals decided to work together to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide.
Their aim is to see a continual reduction in the number of suicide deaths in Australia by challenging the silence, the fear and the myths around suicide with the availability of evidence-based and reliable information and access to support for people at risk.
It became the ideal avenue for Lisa Castle – who lost her 17-year-old son Shaun to suicide in January 2009 – to fulfil her vow that his death would not be in vain. Lisa’s plans for a community walk in honour of her son was able to come to fruition and is now held each Australia Day to signify the fact that it is a national problem. It has evolved into a suicide awareness walk where family, friends and the community can walk together and show their support as well as increase suicide awareness.
SPAN has been holding its Suicide Awareness Walk annually since 2010, and this year will be its 10th anniversary Walk, a dream of its founding members. The walk is a positive, active community event where people can come together and pay tribute to lost loved ones, offer support to those hurting and ultimately embrace the gift of life.
The annual Walk aims to create suicide awareness. This years Walk will be returning to the Rotunda at Johnstone Park in Geelong on Sunday, September 8, starting with Registration at 8.30am to 9.30am followed by a short Memorial Service. The Walk then begins at 10.15am and will be followed by music and a free barbecue with refreshments. SPAN merchandise can be purchased on the day.
To register for the Suicide Awareness Walk, please head to www.spangeelong.com. A $10 registration fee is required, all children under 15 are free.
Please call Support After Suicide service 03 4215 3358 or Suicide Line 1300 651 251 if you require support.