Newcastle cops get help with suicide

NEWCASTLE police will soon follow in the steps of Lake Macquarie command and fit their patrol cars with suicide information packs.

Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention and Support Network started fitting out police cars with the packs after receiving a $5000 grant from Wesley Mission two years ago.

The packs contain health and community contact information for both suicidal prevention and loved ones bereaved by suicide.

Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention and Support Network founder Faye Hawley said the reaction from emergency response teams had been good so far.

Mrs Hawley and her husband Brian set up the network in 2009 after losing their son Darren Hawley to suicide in 2006.

"Because of the taboo around suicide, no one wants to talk about it - at first I felt so ashamed about Darren," she said.

The Edgeworth family is trying break down barriers in the community that discourage people from openly talking about suicide.

Mrs Hawley's son Scott has a memorial dedicated to his brother on the back of his truck.

Faye and her husband attend as many Survivors of Suicide meetings as they can.

These monthly support meetings are run by Lifeline in Newcastle, Port Stephens and Maitland, and offer companionship for those who have lost a family member, friend or partner through suicide.

Mrs Hawley said community support groups helped her cope with her loss.

"We've made a lot of friends - good friends - and support each other through the hard times."

¦ To find out more about Survivors of Suicide, phone 0419 993 195.

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