Walking the walk and talking the talk

15 September 2023

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and R U OK?, Defence personnel from HMAS Moreton and across south-east Queensland took part in a 9km charity walk.

In support of Lifeline Australia’s ‘Out of the Shadows’ walk, a barbecue lunch was held at the end of the walk to discuss the importance of R U OK? Day and to encourage members to stay connected and have conversations that can help themselves or others through difficult times. 

This year’s R U OK? Day theme, 'I am here to hear’, is a reminder that every day is the day to start a conversation that could change a life. 

The theme for WSPD - 'we all have a role to play’ - echoes the international theme ‘creating hope through action’, and serves as a reminder to unite as a community to ensure no one faces their darkest moments alone.

Coordinating the activity was military human resource officer Sub Lieutenant Matt Murphy, who is determined to have these crucial messages shared among the defence community. 

"This event has been a great opportunity to come together as a unit in support of our own mental health and wellbeing, and to remind people that listening and giving someone your time may be just what they need to help them through difficulties,” Sub Lieutenant Murphy said.

"With one in two Australians having experienced mental health conditions in their life time, and one in six experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviours, we are encouraging everyone to support these organisations through donations, as well as creating awareness by participating in this event.”

Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton Commander Fiona Southwood said the Defence community acknowledged the mental health challenges some personnel faced, and remembered those sadly lost to suicide.

"This event provides a great opportunity to generate awareness and support for these important organisations and the services they offer," Commander Southwood said.

“It is a reminder to us all that by having these conversations, we can be better prepared to recognise if a family member, friend or colleague may be in crisis, and give them the support they need." 

If you or anyone you know is considering self-harm, reach out and ask for help.

Lifeline can be reached on on 13 11 14.

For information or resources, visit R U OK? and WSPD.



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