Suicide doesn't discriminate, education is vital CASE push for school student involvement
By Andrew Pearson Suicide doesn’t discriminate; it’s from all walks of life and all social groups and CASE founder Peter Dwyer wants students to get involved in the education process.
“I’m hoping to get a couple of school kids to come to the CORES one-day intervention course, I’d really like to see at least a couple, if not a few more if we can get them to come along.”
Mr Dwyer said residents are often unaware of the health services that are provided to Hay, including access to rural counsellors. “How can people contact them if they don’t know they’re even existing?
“I’ve got school buses and I was unaware that the counsellor over at the high school had been replaced by another one. You know, things like that, now I’ve got kids on my bus for 4 hours a day and... I just can’t understand why we’re not told... we know mood swings from kids as well because we deal with them every day,” he said.
Victoria Oliver is a year 11 student and SRC representative from Hay War Memorial High School. She represented the school at a recently-held CASE workshop and has learnt valuable knowledge about suicide and depression.
“It is crucial for mental illness to be detected and treated in its early stages before the subject chooses not to try and cooperate, which may lead to dangerous circumstances,” she said.
Ms Oliver said the suicide elimination committee was a significant addition to the Hay community. “Groups such as CASE are important for raising awareness, aiding varieties of people with the skills to identify signs of suicidal behaviour and giving those who have been impacted by suicide a chance to come together with others and help try to prevent or minimise it.” Ms Oliver said.
Further one-day suicide prevention courses will be offered to the public later this month [see story here] and Mr Dwyer hopes to eventually rid the stigma attached to mental illness.
He is passionate about reducing the number of suicides in the community and can already see the impact the group is having. "If we [CASE members] don’t help anyone outside the group, I know we’ve helped every person in the group already,” Mr Dwyer said.