History of SPAN

The Suicide Prevention Awareness Network (SPAN) group was started after a spate of horrific suicides in Geelong, with affected family members, concerned community members and health professionals deciding to work together to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide.

SPAN became the ideal avenue for Lisa Castle, who lost her 17-year-old son Shaun to suicide in January 2009, to fulfil her vow that his death would not be in vain. Lisa’s plans for a community walk in honour of her son was able to come to fruition and the SPAN Suicide Awareness Walk is now held annually – more recently in alignment with World Suicide Prevention Day in September. It has evolved into a suicide awareness walk where family, friends and the community can walk together and show their support for those bereaved by suicide as well as increase suicide awareness.

SPAN members believe suicide awareness is everyone’s responsibility and is a subject that must be talked about openly and sensitively. They strongly believe SPAN’s initiatives can and will make a difference.

A community development model is used by SPAN in its approach to suicide prevention and support. It uses a whole-of-community approach driven by the combined knowledge of lived experiences from those affected by suicide with evidence-based information and knowledge from professionals working in the field.

SPAN – memories of those forever with us

Rick Howarth (20/11/2011): “In memory of our beautiful loved son and brother and uncle, Rick Howarth. So loved and missed so much. We all miss you so much the pain and loss of you will never go away. May you be at peace now. xxxxx” - Wayne and Ellen

Mark O’Shannessy (09/02/2009): “How our world has been turned upside down. Leaving without notice, without answers broke our hearts. “Who knew” Missing you each and every day. xx”

Daniel Watkins (09/08/2001)
: “My brother took his life 10 years ago at 21 years old. To lose my older brother when I was 18 left me shattered into pieces, after 10 years I’m still broken. I will never be the same person, I feel incomplete. I love Dan with all my heart, he is always in my thoughts and I miss him terribly. For me, time doesn’t heal all wounds, they just made me deal with what has happened and made me realise what is important in my life. I married my best friend without my brother present and gave birth to my son who will never meet his beautiful Uncle. Those realities have been very hard to deal with but I know my brother is looking down on us smiling and watching. Dan’s memory will always live on in his family.”

“Over 20 years ago my father took his life, no one has any idea how much I miss him, I would like to say it gets easier but that would be a lie. I love you dad and miss you every day. xxxxxxx” - Jane

Kieran Boucher (09/03/2009): “Kieran, our beautiful son, brother, nephew, cousin and mate. We all miss you terribly. I think of you every day and l live each day for you. I love you honey all the way to the moon and back. xxxx”

“19 years ago we buried my Dad. Everyone said at the funeral he was the last person to have killed himself. I’ve heard many say that in the years afterwards, about the person they have lost. The world is definitely not a better place for him leaving it. Still missed after all this time.” - Lucy Voss

Peter James Dyer (16/10/2003): “Our lives changed forever that fateful day- and so did we as people. From numbness, shock and deep raw grief to anger, bitterness and an eternal aura of sadness. From denial to acceptance; from frustration at what should have been to gratitude at what I DO have; from sorrow and indifference to strength and a determination to make a difference. I was your big sister and I loved you so much. Still do…….” - Kim Cockerell

“You left without warning over 20 years ago and the hole in my heart remains. The “why’s” and “If onlys” nearly destroyed me. Our family is strong but has never been the same. It didn’t have to be like this. I still yearn for you every day.” - Marg S

Shaun Joshua Castle
: “This is in memory of my beautiful boy Shaun Joshua Castle. Rest in Peace Baby. You are so loved and deeply missed. xxxx Mum xxxx” - Lisa Castle