SES shows support for suicide awareness

Daniel Barry, left, presents the SES donation to Matt Hill of the
Derwent Valley Suicide Prevention Group.

MONEY raised for suicide awareness in the Derwent Valley has been presented to the intended recipient following the cancellation of a fundraising activity associated with the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival.

The Derwent Valley State Emergency Service last week presented the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group with a donation of funds raised by its members.

This money was raised for the awareness group’s annual fundraising event at the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group public officer and treasurer Matt Hill said an annual fundraiser had been held at the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival since 2018 in partnership with the Derwent Valley Stand-Up Paddleboard School.

“This fundraiser involves key organisations and individuals participating in a stand-up paddleboard session,” Mr Hill said.  “It is known that physical activity has a positive impact on mental health and that unfortunately suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age,” he said.

Mr Hill said the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group was extremely grateful for the generous donation of more than $400 from members of the Derwent Valley SES. The donation was presented by Derwent Valley SES unit member Daniel Barry, who would have been the group’s volunteer in the stand-up paddleboard event. Mr Barry also sold the most chocolates and socks among unit members, contributing to the overall total of $463.

The Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group was developed following a public workshop by LifeLine’s StandBy response service during May 2016. This community response group to suicide was developed to give early and ongoing support for families, friends and others deeply saddened by the loss of someone to suicide.

To contact the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group call Matt Hill on 0459 096 003 or email mathew.narelle@gmail.com. For urgent crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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