The Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice will shine its healing light further afield this year when the event is live streamed into Benalla on Friday evening.
This is the first community outside Albury to share the warmth of the solstice's inspirational message and speakers as it happens.
Benalla is one of 12 locations taking part in Victorian Government trials to develop local strategies to prevent suicide.
The trial forms part of the Victorian Suicide Prevention Framework 2016-2025, which aims to halve the state's suicide rates by 2025.
Former Albury-Wodonga headspace manager Bek Nash-Webster has helped co-ordinate the event for Benalla as part of her suicide prevention role with Murray PHN.
She said the live-stream of the solstice event at Benalla presented an exciting opportunity for other communities to do the same.
"It's fantastic that we can be part of taking this to a broader audience - the Winter Solstice helps to bring the subject of suicide and mental illness into the public forum without shame or stigma.
"We invited Annette and Stuart Baker, who started the event in 2013, to attend the Benalla place-based suicide prevention meeting in February.
"They spoke about their experiences and issued an open invitation to the Benalla community to join this year's Winter Solstice."
With another outstanding line-up of speakers - domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, Steve "Commando" Willis and anti-violence advocate Kathy Kelly - the free community event at Albury's QEII Square offers nourishment for the mind, body and soul as the longest night of the year closes in.
Ms Nash-Webster said it was hoped Benalla could help create a "recipe" to share with other communities to reduce suicide.
Benalla residents are also being offered the chance to attend the solstice in person with a free bus to depart from the botanical gardens at 3.30pm on June 21.
The live stream will take place on a big screen at Melodrama's Performing Arts Studio from 5pm with the local CWA supporting the community event with free soup and crusty bread.
In 2018 national advocacy group Australians For Mental Health urged communities to follow the Border's lead and hold their own grassroots gatherings on June 21.
It called on everyone to join the campaign to fix the country's flailing mental health system.
"Winter solstice marks the darkest night of the year before the slow climb back to summer," its campaign stated.
"The 4 million Australians affected by mental illness and their families have known a different kind of darkness, often facing a mental health system that is under funded, under resourced and failing us."
Whether through a curry night or tea and scones, AFMH called on citizens to connect with their community and support the move to transform the mental health system - and save lives.
- RSVP by June 19 for either the bus trip or the live-stream event via eventbrite.
- If you or someone you know needs help: Call Lifeline on 13 13 14; or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467