Out of tragedy, comes an opportunity for change. The aim of The Kai Eardley Fund [held with The Fremantle Foundation] is to create positive change for the mental health of our youth and to honour the life of Kai Eardley.
Kai, a 20-year-old East Fremantle boy with a lot to live for, ended his life in July 2016 after struggling with anxiety and depression. If this endeavour prevents just one more tragic death to suicide, then our goal will have been achieved.
Suicide is now the biggest killer of men aged between 19 and 45. Twelve men are lost to suicide every day. Our hope is to reduce this number. Having lost Kai, I will always wonder what could I have done differently and my only conclusion is that there is little else I could have done in July last year when Kai reached crisis point. I wish there had been some early intervention available before he reached that point of no return.
I believe a peer-based program available to young men, which helps to erase the tough macho stigma associated with our Australian male culture, and provides them with some skills to navigate mental illness and crises they will inevitably endure in life, is an important piece of education that is not available in our education curriculum today.
Your donation will go directly to support delivery of the program, Man Up, currently being delivered in Victoria and Ireland by Tomorrow Man facilitators Tom Harkin and Tom Bell.
We know that young girls also take their lives and we have not forgotten them. As this Foundation grows, and we roll out the suicide prevention program in WA, we intend to expand our work to address the gaps in the education of girls in this area. We are passionate about this work; and do not want to over-commit and under-deliver.
The more support we get, the more boys and girls we can support.