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Police show support

By Mark Beale

WHITSUNDAY Police have thrown their support behind the Bald Eagles ‘Mile in Their Shoes’ suicide awareness campaign.

Campaign organiser Jack Lumby said he initially approached police because they were the ones at the coalface of suicides, dealing with the families and friends left behind and all the emotions that entailed. “They’re human and it’s got to be chipping away at them the way it chips at the families and loved ones of the people that have left us,” he said.

Officer in Charge of the Whitsunday Police Station, Acting Senior Sergeant Brad Teys, said emergency services personnel were often the first people on the scene in these “terrible incidences”, which not only affected close friends and family but also had a detrimental effect across the community.

“The most common thing that I can see is people need to see that they’re not alone, that there’s always someone there to help,” he said. “Friends need to intervene when they see someone feeling depressed or down.”

Mr Lumby said the ‘Mile in Their Shoes’ initiative was gathering momentum both locally and further afield.

“I’ve spoken to groups from one end of this state to another who are following us and who are interested,” he said.

‘A Mile in Their Shoes’ will culminate in walks around the Whitsunday Sportspark and Proserpine Cricket Ground on December 13. Participants are asked to bring their best walking shoes to swap with a mate – to literally walk a mile around the sports grounds ‘in their shoes’. The cost to attend the Whitsunday Sportspark event is just $10, with money raised to be given to suicide support groups. The event will take place from 1-5pm. For more information visit the ‘A Mile Their Shoes’ Facebook page.

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