New suicide awareness charity to target the needs of Lithgow

TOP EFFORT: LINC community hub manager Kim Scanlon has been working hard to get Lithgow's new suicide awareness charity off the ground. Picture: HOSEA LUY
TOP EFFORT: LINC community hub manager Kim Scanlon has been working hard to get Lithgow's new suicide awareness charity off the ground. Picture: HOSEA LUY

Lithgow now has its very own charity to specifically tackle the town’s problems with mental health and suicide.

Suicide Awareness “Let’s Talk Lithgow” is an organisation that has been auspiced through the Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre.

"In a community this size the amount of suicides that we've had has a direct or indirect impact on everybody in town," LINC community hub manager Kim Scanlon said.

Ms Scanlon said the push to create Lithgow’s own suicide awareness charity arose when the Workies club, who lost member to suicide earlier this year, found that no existing organisation could promise funds raised would stay in the local area.

The Workies club approached LINC to consider the possibility of auspicing a new organisation to specifically help people in Lithgow.

Suicide Awareness “Let’s Talk Lithgow” has already begun to run programs promoting mental health.

"We ran a series of workshops on understanding suicide where we got a psychologist to come in and we ran those in the evenings and weekends," Ms Scanlon said.

The charity is seeking to help all members of the community to develop knowledge of how to talk those who may be thinking about suicide.

Ms Scanlon encouraged people to ask direct questions to open up a conversation if they may think a person close to them was feeling suicidal.

"A lot of people are scared to ask the question because they think that may put the idea in their head but actually, the idea is already in their head."

LINC has also developed a mental health resource containing the contact details of all the services in the Lithgow area.

"We want hairdressers to have these booklets, we want shopkeepers to have it so if anyone comes in that sends off red flags for them, they have a resource. They can say 'actually you can go here' and we want that information community wide."

"We want everybody to know how to deal with this issue and how to deal with somebody who is in crisis."

Suicide Awareness “Let’s Talk Lithgow” has put their support behind Walk ‘n’ Talk and other local initiatives.

The charity committee will be meeting bi-monthly to work out the next steps of how to combat suicide in the region.

If you need help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.