Mount Isa Indigenous Men’s Group builds support for White Wreath Walk

May 17, 2016 No Comments by White Wreath

VICTIMS of suicide leave behind pain for their friends and families, and these people need support as well.

Men of the Ngukuthati Men’s Shed want to let the subject of suicide be more open, to encourage more people who are struggling with life to talk about it with their family and friends.

The Ngukuthati Men are leading the White Wreath Walk and Remembrance Ceremony from 11.30am, on Monday, May 23, from the Frank Aston Museum Car Park. Everyone is welcome to join.

The North West Star understands there were five Mount Isa people identifying as Indigenous who killed themselves in February – setting an average of 1.2 a week in that month. None of these deaths were published in any form of media.

The Men’s Group has recently formed a suicide grief and loss session that meets every fortnight, mostly in the storage shed of the Ngukuthati Children and Family Centre, in Short Street. Current members are mainly indigenous but men’s group members assure that men of all cultures are welcome, as suicide was not limited to race.

It was the questions from regular attendee Troy Wilde about suicide loss that sparked the idea for the march, such as “what’s going on?”, “where do we go?”.

“I know over 20 people that have committed suicide from friends and family. It’s just sad that I can count that many people, I am estimating, I am sure there are more,” Mr Wilde said.

And the men’s shed and the regular sessions were a way for men to talk about their feelings while busy doing something else – whether it be building a table in the shed, to having a barbecue.

“It’s sad when people keep things inside. We’re not professionally trained counselors, we can still hear their words at least through this men’s shed. We’re learning to see the signs and getting to know who to talk to,” Mr Wilde said.

Mens Shed coordinator Kale Johnson said that anyone who wished to talk was welcome to the Ngukuthati Men’s Shed at 70 Short Street.

Anybody needing support could also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Source: North West Star

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