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World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day shine light on mental health

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LIFE & HOPE: John Dawkins won the 2020 LIFE lifetime achievement award for his work in suicide prevention.

LIFE & HOPE: John Dawkins won the 2020 LIFE lifetime achievement award for his work in suicide prevention.

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Mental health is in focus during World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day.

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SUICIDE Prevention Australia has shone a light on some of the nation's true mental health warriors on World Suicide Prevention Day.

In a year of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, the efforts of a number of individuals and organisations have been celebrated with the announcement of the 2020 LIFE Awards.

Lifetime achiever

Three seniors were among this year's award winners, including South Australia's Premier's advocate for suicide prevention John Dawkins - who won the lifetime achievement award.

John played a key role in developing suicide prevention and mental health services plans and has lobbied for a suicide register, suicide prevention council, training programs and state suicide prevention networks.

Strength of community

Former Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury chief executive Lindy MacGregor from LivingWorks Australia won the individual communities matter award for 30 years of service to the cause.

The NSW resident was instrumental in introducing LivingWorks ASIST and safeTALK in Australia and has overseen more than 500 workshops and the training of 700 trainers through the programs.

Helping our First Nations People

Queensland's Lynore Geia from Palm Island Suicide Prevention Network won the Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander award.

Dr Geia was pivotal in bringing C.O.R.E.S Suicide Prevention to the island and has invited StandBy Support After Suicide and the National Indigenous Critical Response Service to work with the local community.

Suicide Prevention Australia chief executive Nieves Murray said this year's winners reflected the diversity of suicide prevention work in Australia.

"From research, to grassroots training and individuals reaching out to others, their work is making a difference," Ms Murray said.

Over 10 million Australian adults know someone who has died by suicide and at least 500,000 Australians have attempted suicide.

Other winners included:

Communities Matter (Organisation): Grapevine Group (Mackay Region)

Emerging Researcher: Dr Zac Seidler (Movember and Orygen)

Workplace: Ambulance Tasmania

Media: SANE Australia (Better Off With You campaign)

For more information about this years winners, click here or call 13-11-14 if you need support.

R U OK? Day

AS the nation marks R U OK Day, organisers are stressing the importance of maintaining connections during difficult times.

The theme for this year's event is There's More to Say After R U OK?

Knowing the right thing to say can help someone feel more supported and motivated to seek help which could make a major difference in their life.

A number of free resources and tips about what to say to someone you know if you sense something might not be quite right are available online.

Concerned people are urged to follow four basic steps - ask, listen, encourage action and check in.

The R U OK? website also features a comprehensive guide explaining how you can support R U OK? Day. For more information click here.

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