450km cycle to help raise suicide awareness
By Andrew Pearson
IN AROUND 12 months time, members of Hay’s suicide elimination committee will embark on a 450km cycle from the town to Sheffield in Tasmania.
The aim is to raise funds to help CASE train more people and most importantly raise awareness of suicide along the way. It will also showcase the link between the CASE group and the Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES) organisation based in the ‘Apple Isle’.
“I think the CORES group is a great model and to a lesser degree we’re going along that line,” CASE founder Peter Dwyer said. “[Suicide] doesn’t discriminate, it’s right across the board; it’s from all walks of life, from all social groups as well.”
Mr Dwyer plans to encourage other communities to get on board and spread the word about suicide awareness. He wants the one-day intervention course, run by CORES, put into the public sphere.
“I fully believe in that particular course. I’ve done it personally.”
“We actually had to ask somebody ‘are you contemplating suicide?’ and to get the awareness out there we HAVE to ask people that question and that’s the hardest question I’ve ever had to ask... and I’ve asked 3 people that so far since the course was finished,” Mr Dwyer said.
Funding is the biggest problem for CASE. “You’re very limited in what you can do and we don’t want to go and waste the money either, what we’ve got, so we’ve got to be very careful with it,” Mr Dwyer said.
The committee just held a winery tour fundraiser and has already received generous donations and grants from the Hay community and further a field.
Mr Dwyer is passionate about creating a community of proactive people and plans to have up to 200 Hay residents, of all ages and walks of life, trained to detect the warning signs of suicide. 17 people have already undertaken the one-day suicide intervention course.
CASE has attracted significant media attention since its formation late last year and support for the group continues to grow.
The newly-established Ministerial Advisory Committee on Suicide Prevention has also heaped praised on the group, with its chairman, Nicolas Parkhill, calling it a model for other communities.
“What Peter Dwyer is doing in Hay is absolutely on track, you know, mobilising the community, training people so they can identify early on when someone’s having a problem and equipping people in the community to have those conversations, that’s exactly the kind of initiative we need to see happening,” Mr Parkhill told ABC Riverina earlier this year.
Hay suicide group praised by government committee
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