Wesley (Mission) LifeForce &
NSW Opposition Leader Hon. Mark Speakman MP
When: 8 Sept 2023 at 11am - there's cover and umbrellas if raining
Where: Sydney Opera House (North Boardwalk)
Outside Yallamundi Rooms - see map below
Call for action on suicide prevention as NSW struggles
ABOUT: In the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day
With suicide deaths (ABS 2021) at more than 2.5 times the national road toll (3,144 deaths), excessive wait times for mental health supports and the cost of living crisis taking a toll, Wesley Mission CEO Stu Cameron and NSW Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Mark Speakman MP, are calling for an increase in, and easier access to, suicide prevention services/supports.
Mr Speakman will highlight that half of all people who die by suicide have not connected with the health system and have a level of psychosocial disconnection, making suicide prevention a shared responsibility across the community, including families and friends, professional groups, government and non-government agencies.
Rev Cameron will speak about the unique community led Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Networks that are demonstrating their effectiveness in reducing the suicide rate by seven percent on average*.
Also available for interview:
- Andrew Moore – General Manager Wesley Mission LifeForce Suicide Prevention
- Michelle Levy - Lived experience and Peer Worker for Wesley LifeForce Aftercare
Immediately followed by Sydney Harbour Sunflower Ceremony
Immediately following the media call, Stu Cameron, Mark Speakman, Andrew Moore, Michelle Levy and others will each cast a sunflower into Sydney Harbour to honour those lives lost to suicide. Sunflowers have long been considered a symbol of hope, strength and resilience as the vibrant yellow flower, supported by a strong stem, turns its face towards the sun.
WHEN: From 11.00am – there is cover and umbrellas if raining – the Sydney Harbour Sunflower Ceremony proceed immediately after
WHERE: Sydney Opera House – Northern Boardwalk outside Yallamundi Rooms, walk along outside path to the rear of the small sails (map below).
Media information Wesley Mission/Wesley LifeForce, please contact Anne Holt on 0418 628 342 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media information NSW Leader of the Opposition Hon Mark Speakman MP, please contact
Ian Zakon on 0436 436 927 or Ian.Zakon@parliament.nsw.gov.au
(Sunflower ceremony location indicated by blue X)
About Wesley Mission’s Suicide Prevention work
Wesley LifeForce is a national suicide prevention program run by Wesley Mission that educates, empowers and resources local communities, supporting people most at risk. More than 40,000 people have been trained through the program during the past 15 years.
With a presence in every state, focusing on areas where the problem of suicide hits the hardest, Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Networks are community-led action groups addressing suicide at a local level. So far, there are 130 groups across Australia representing a membership of more than 2,500 people. New networks are being established every year through the support of the Commonwealth Government and Primary Health Networks.
For further information click here.
MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: Most people – including media professionals – have been touched by suicide. For many people, the service will be one of mixed emotions. We ask that you respect the privacy of people who are attending and those participating in the service.
For safe reporting guidelines on suicide go to:
People who are experiencing distress can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.