PAT CONSEN used to be the caring voice at the end of a Lifeline crisis chat and now she is helping families overcome the devastation caused by suicide.
The Fraser District Lifeline service co-ordinator walked alongside more than 50 others in the 'Out of the Shadows and into the Light' walk on Thursday morning.
The annual stroll helps those affected by suicide to reflect.
"When someone takes their own life, there's a stigma attached to it and the people left behind are alone and feel like they can't talk about it," she said.
"The world comes to life when we finish the walk on the jetty at dawn. There are fisherman about, the sun comes out from behind the clouds and the birds are singing."
With the help of colleague Marion Sneddon, Pat spent yesterday afternoon stripping petals from rose bushes.
"We give the petals to people to cast out into the ocean and it's lovely to see them all float together from the shore," she said.
In the eyes of both Pat and Marion, talking about suicide is the key to its prevention.
"The more people talk about it, the more potential there is to save lives," Marion said.
The walk coincided with today's national 'R U OK' day which is about connecting and letting others know they are not a burden.
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