Many of us have been touched by suicide and the loss of a loved one, family member or friend. Whatever their reason, whatever the cause, for some of these people, their emotional pain became too much and they considered suicide as an option of escape. And for us left behind, we very often don’t have answers or understanding.

The tragic thing is that many of those who consider suicide don’t really want to die; they just don’t know how to deal with the pain they’re experiencing. What they do know is, the pain is overwhelming. It is all consuming and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps they feel alone, a burden, helpless, a victim? When the mind becomes so dark, so filled with pain it is so hard to see possibility and hope. It is so hard to see any sunshine in the day. Future is not an option because the now is so painful.

When someone takes that final step, life cannot get worse. The pain ceases. But what it also does, is that it prevents the option or possibility of things changing, of things improving. My hope and my wish on this day, and on days like R u ok? Is that we as a community remember to look out for our family, our friends, our neighbours and even strangers. Sometimes it is just the smallest of gestures that have the biggest impact and can change a person’s life, can stop that person from feeling like giving up.

I also ask you to remember that one act, one choice, does not define a life. One act. Once choice, is not a legacy.

Every moment of compassion, each act of kindness, every shared laugh. A warm embrace, a quiet conversation, every hope, every dream. That is what defines a life and creates a legacy. Do not judge those that have chosen that final act.

If you are in pain and feeling suicidal, there is help. You are not alone. Please ring 000 or Lifeline 13 11 14.