Date set for SPAN walk

January 28, 2022 BY

Remembering: The Suicide Prevention Awareness Network’s annual walk hasn’t been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: SUPPLIED

COMMUNITY members will once again be able to gather to remember those they’ve lost at the Suicide Prevention Awareness Network’s annual walk, set for 20 March.

This year will be the first walk since 2019, with the past two walks cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPAN founder Alannah McGregor said it was a relief to bring back the event which can give support to those who need it.

“I’ve had a lot of people contact me and say ‘when are you going to do it?’. When we had to cancel it last year there was quite a lot of disappointment,” she said.

“We’ve often had people who have attended for their first year after a death and they say that it’s the only place they’ve been where they feel free to talk to other people.

“They don’t feel like they’re alone, they can see that other people are going through a similar situation.”

Ms McGregor said this year’s walk may look different to previous ones, with SPAN’s efforts focused on getting the event up and running successfully under whatever COVID restrictions are in force at the time.

“At this stage we’re probably looking at a smaller day rather than going all out,” she said.

“We’re better off to just hold it and get the people there who want to be there rather than go out of our way to try and get more.”

Currently, a program of events is scheduled from 9.30am to 12pm, with the two-kilometre walk commencing at 11am at the Dai Gum San Precinct.

With this year being the ninth walk since the event was first held in 2012, Ms McGregor said SPAN was committed to seeing it continue.

“It will go ahead as long as it can and we’ll do our best to make that happen,” she said.

If you need mental health support, visit beyondblue.org.au or call their 24/7 hotline on 1300 22 4636. You can also visit lifeline.org.au or call them on 13 11 14 and help for young people is available at kidshelpline.com.au or by calling them on 1800 55 1800.