R U OK? Committee members Andrew “Grafto” Grafton, Headspace’s Sophia McLucas and John Felton.
R U OK? Committee members Andrew “Grafto” Grafton, Headspace’s Sophia McLucas and John Felton. Emma Channon

Group tackles the issue of suicide

IT WAS 14 years ago when Andrew "Grafto" Grafton's brother took his life, but time hasn't made it any easier.

It is something, he explained, you "never get over"; it is a matter you have to learn to live with.

The police officer, whose brother was also a serving police officer, marked the anniversary of his brother's death this week, which, coincided with R U OK? day.

Mr Grafton's loss prompted him to take action to promote discussions about suicide and help battle the social issue.

"We formed a self-help group in Warwick for families who have had to deal with suicide," he said.

"When a family member or friend takes their life there are always unanswered questions as to why - why didn't I pick up on it and what could I have done?

"So we started the group, nothing profited or structured about it; it was just to vent our frustration and to get points from each other as to what we do and how we cope when times are bad."

Now the police officer is teaming up with other people who have either lost family members to suicide, or who are involved in organisations available to help those thinking of suicide.

The group is holding a dinner for 50 to 100 people next month, on Sunday October 23, to help promote awareness and discuss suicide and what options there are in Warwick.

Guest speakers will include Mr Grafton, as well as local GP Dr Kiss and director of youth movement Less Than Strength Luke McMurtrie.

Tickets are at $40 and include drinks.

For those wishing to make a separate contribution, a bank account called "R U OK?" has been established at Westpac and all donations would be welcome.



PHOTOS: Warwick Australia Day Cricket Carnival

Premium Content PHOTOS: Warwick Australia Day Cricket Carnival

The huge annual carnival kicked off with a bang today! Check out a gallery of the...

GALLERY: Bumper crowds at Allora Heritage Weekend

Premium Content GALLERY: Bumper crowds at Allora Heritage Weekend

Big numbers turned out to see the huge range of classic and vintage cars at the...

TRUE BLUE: Your Australia Day events guide

Premium Content TRUE BLUE: Your Australia Day events guide

Traditional ceremonies, sports events, and Australia Day pub classics. Here’s your...