Casting hope

Floral tributes were scattered across the Tumby Bay foreshore beach on Tuesday morning to pay tribute to those lost to suicide and acknowledge World Suicide Prevention Day.

The event was organised by the Tumby Bay and District Suicide Prevention Network, Beacon of Hope.

About 25 people attended the network's first public event, where Danica Gates, Robyn Wilton and local GP Dr Graham Fleming spoke.

"The reality is that suicides do occur and they do occur across the Eyre Peninsula," Mrs Gates said.

Mrs Gates lost her brother Matthew to suicide in 2016 and said grief from losing a loved one to suicide could be "even more complicated".

"We need to work towards...empowering the community to become more aware and more educated," she said.

"Feeling suicidal is not a crime, it is a very clear sign that you are struggling to cope and need to get help."

Mrs Gates said suicide prevention networks were there to encourage discussions about suicide and discourage barriers such as shame and blame.

Robyn Wilton, a suicide attempt survivor, also spoke and said she had previously felt shame and embarrassment "because of what I tried to do".

"Today I stand in front of you all, not embarrassed, but instead very grateful I had a second chance to live my life...I wear my past as a badge of courage," she said.

Dr Fleming talked about educating the community, especially schoolchildren.

"We have taught the community that if you are having chest pain you need to see a doctor or go to hospital."

He said people needed to recognise that symptoms of a "brain shutdown" or depression, were as real as symptoms of a heart attack.

After floral tributes were laid in the ocean, Mrs Gates provided support to those attending, with information cards about support lines.

Please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit beyondblue.org.au if you need support.