The "invaluable activism" of those left devastated by suicide will be commemorated today on the Border and across the world.
Albury-Wodonga's Survivors of Suicide & Friends has urged the community to remind their loved ones how special they are and to "cherish how precious life is" on International Survivors of Suicide Day, November 21.
The day is also a reminder of the relentless work of advocates campaigning in the mental health space, according to SOS&F, which will release an exclusive music performance by Archie Roach and Jess Hitchcock on Facebook as part of the event.
On Sunday, November 22 a special online screening of excerpts from the documentary, Solstice, will start at 7pm (this is an RSVP event - to join follow link below).
The film will be followed by a Q&A led by MC John Walker featuring: filmmaker Helen Newman, who began working on Solstice more than two years ago; Stuart (and Annette) Baker who form the central story of this film after their 15-year-old daughter, Mary, took her own life in 2011; Dr Leah Wiseman, operations director for Mental Health at Albury Wodonga; and Professor Patrick McGorry, who has revolutionised Australia's approach to mental health through a focus on early intervention and humane, community-based treatment.
In a week where the states' funding inconsistencies have been starkly highlighted in both social housing and mental health, two sectors inextricably linked, today is a reminder of the critical work still to be done to fix the country's "fractured" system.
While key lobby groups are bemoaning the lacklustre efforts of the NSW government, Victoria has leapt up the leaderboard with its $5.3 billion historic public housing plan and $868 million mental health investment announced this week.
Mental Health Victoria has welcomed the release of two key national reports: the final report of the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Mental Health, and the Interim Advice of National Suicide Prevention Adviser Christine Morgan.
MHV chief Angus Clelland said the reports would play a crucial role in shaping reform over the coming decade, as Victoria prepares for the final report of the Royal Commission into its mental health system expected in February, 2021.
With one in five Australians experiencing mental illness, "the economic cost ... is an estimated $200 billion per year," stated MHV's Productivity Commission report summary.
"In its findings, the Commission has detailed how a fractured, disjointed, and under-resourced mental health system is failing the millions of people (and their families and carers) who require support every day."
- Go to www.solsticefilm.org/rsvp to join the event.