HELP AT HAND: Tess Wright overcame depression and homelessness as a youth. She is now passionate about raising awareness for suicide prevention.
HELP AT HAND: Tess Wright overcame depression and homelessness as a youth. She is now passionate about raising awareness for suicide prevention. Mike Richards

Today is the day to ask friends if they're okay

TESS Wright's smile hides years of pain. Homeless, disadvantaged and depressed, the odds are stacked against her - or so it seemed for a long time.

"I am homeless and I have been suicidal," she said.

"The current mental health services in Gladstone are not designed for youth.

"There is a desperate need for a headspace here, for a place younger people can go and have someone they can relate to.

"At the moment I travel to Rockhampton to access a youth mental health service."

Today, on R U OK? Day, three words could save the life of someone close to you.

As Miss Wright can attest, an individual's outlook on life can change dramatically when someone shows they care.

"Suicide is a silent killer, a permanent fix to a temporary problem," she said.

"When you're feeling cut off from friends, family and society, asking for help can be the most confronting moment of your life. But because I reached out, I feel my future is looking bright."

Enrolling in a certificate three in disability with plans to progress to nursing and eventually midwifery, Miss Wright is finding her feet in a world where she believed for so long that she did not belong.

Representatives from Centacare, CQ Medicare local, Roseberry Community Services and Nhulundu Health gathered on Wednesday to take a stand for World Suicide Prevention Day.

Lynette Noble from CQ Medicare Local urged everyone to remember they were not alone.

"No matter the circumstances, no one is ever alone and there is always hope," she said.

"There are people who care, reach out and ask for help."

Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you need support.

Mental health hope blossoms on R U OK? Day

HOPE will bloom across the region thanks to today's R U OK? Day seed giveaway.

The national day of action helps raise the plight of people affected by mental health issues, depression and suicide by encouraging conversations to help change or save a life.

The Discovery Coast Community Health Services is marking the day through its Seeds of Hope program.

The DCCHS will offer around 20,000 sunflower seeds for residents in Miriam Vale, Bororen, Turkey Beach, Agnes Water, Seventeen Seventy, Baffle Creek, Lowmead and Rosedale.

A further 15,000 seeds will be given out by Wide Bay Australia in the north of the region.

The Seeds of Hope Program was founded by Boots 'n' Bulldust, a group formed in the South Burnett with the aim of raising awareness of depression in rural communities.

Today the DCCHS will host the Seventeen Seventy Walk for people to remember loved ones who have been lost to suicide.

The walk begins at 7am from the Seventeen Seventy Air Sea Rescue Park.



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