This year, I'll be participating in my first Hawaiian Ride for Youth. I have come to realise it is somewhat different to other events. It gives the riders and road crew the opportunity to become actively involved with our younger generation, to share our stories and experiences, to give them the knowledge that help is available and the courage to seek it.
There are 3 students from my Year 8/9 classes at Bunbury Senior high school who committed suicide within a few years of leaving school and a close friend of mine who did so during year 12 at Nightcliff High School in Darwin. My brother in-law committed suicide in 1998.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 25. It’s a situation that leaves families shattered and desperately seeking an answer to why it happened. Sadly, in many cases it’s an answer they will never receive. I often reflect, if back then we had the services that are available today, we could have saved entire families from a lifetime of sadness.
Please help me and support Youth Focus by raising awareness of the issues and prejudices that surround mental health and promote the assistance that is now available to our youth.
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