RECORD numbers turned out for Walk With Us at Dixon Park beach on Tuesday - World Suicide Prevention Day.
About a thousand Novocastrians, from local politicians to Newcastle Jets players, turned out for the 6am walk, braving the cool morning temperatures.
The walk, now in its fifth year, aims to address some of the issues surrounding suicide such as stigma and ignorance, which can be barriers to people accessing help.
Lifeline's Hunter executive director Robert Sams said the strong turnout showed a united front committed to bringing hope and help to people in a dark place.
"Everyone has a role to play in supporting people in crisis and preventing suicide," he said.
"Today we hope to connect with people in distress and encourage them to reach out for support.
"We encourage those concerned about someone, to engage, listen and connect them with care. We understand that through collective and collaborative effort, more people will be kept safe and well."
Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. It is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages.
There were 3128 deaths by suicide across Australia in 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while globally it is believed responsible for over 800,000 deaths.
World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
- Lifeline's 13 11 14 crisis support line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and aims to offer accessible support to anyone in need of someone to talk to, someone to listen.