WHAT future are we going to offer our children?
That was the question raised by Pauline Carrigan at the Manali Limousin & Lim-Flex Bull Sale in Scone on Friday.
Mrs Carrigan, her husband Hilton, and their family established the Where There’s a Will foundation after their son, Will, took his own life on Christmas Day, 2015. Their charity’s goal is to try and address the mental health crisis facing the Upper Hunter.
All proceeds from the first lot sold went towards the not-for-profit organisation.
Mrs Carrigan spoke to those present at the bull auction about the importance of mental health education – from pre-school right through to year 12.
“We will not sit idly by while another generation of children fall victim to this debilitating disease in any of its forms; anxiety, anorexia, substance abuse, self-harm, lack of self worth, and suicide,” she said.
“Evidence exists that we can psychologically immunise our children just as we do (for) measles and mumps, against mental illness.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, suicide was the leading cause of death in the nation for males and females aged 15-44 between 2011-2013. Over a five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the average number of suicide deaths per year was 2577.
This amounts to more than seven people every day.
The Where There’s A Will charity aims to support schools by delivering recognised mental health programs to children of all ages.
Lifeline: 13 11 14.