MANNING UP

Statistics reveal that suicide is the largest cause of death among men aged 19 to 45 – and for every one of those statistics there is a very personal tale of grief.

After Claire Eardley’s son Kai took his own life in 2016, his family determined that to honour Kai’s memory they would embark on a mission to create positive change for the mental health of today’s youth.

Joey, Claire, and Cameron Eardley of East Fremantle raised money for a fund to help young people deal with mental illness, in honour of their son and brother Kai.

Support for the Kai Eardley Fund has lead to the successful Man Up program being brought to Western Australian schools. Delivered by “the bloke whisperers” Tom Bell and Tom Harkin, the ultimate aim of this peer-based program is to provide boys with the skills to navigate mental illness and endure the crises they will inevitably encounter in life. They also learn the value of friendship, and being able to rely on each other for support.

Through the Kai Eardley Fund, Claire Eardley aims to bring Tom Bell back to WA to deliver as many as 80 workshops in 2018, providing a road to positive mental health for some 2400 young West Aussie blokes.

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