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.

11 responses to “MANNING UP

  1. Make sure that part of the program is informing them of how CSA is evil and will suck them dry financially if they are ti ever split from there partner. And 9/10 times the OP will use alternating tactics to maximise their CS payments…. it will get them so down they will want to kill themselves…. but just man up hey! #reformcs

  2. Our lobby group is made up of men and women – both payees and payers under the Department of Human Services Child Support Program. Unfortunately this Program does not see suicide as an important enough issue to keep track of, despite having a specialist team dealing with deaths of clients (unfortunately named as a ‘termination event’). Our estimates indicate that as many as 28 people per week take their lives partly as a result of the way they are treated by this Program. For example, we have cases where clients are told “If you don’t pay – we will recommend to the other parent to reduce contact with you and the children” – yet these issues fall on deaf ears. These clients are already vulnerable, yet when faced with bullying behaviour like this, one can imagine what goes through their minds. The Hon Alan Tudge MP does not answer any direct correspondence, and responses received so far is just spin doctor rhetoric designed carefully to avoid any culpability! We currently number almost 12,000 and we are growing at a huge rate. #reformcs #60minutes9

  3. How many die due to government herrasment due to child support. Many parents ailenated from children and charges far larger amounts then you would get from on unemployment.
    #21fathers #reformcs

  4. The whole of human services needs to be overhauled. As someone who has struggled to find a full time permanent position I am left working 2 part time casual jobs which do not give me enough hours. When I am sick I have to work because I can’t afford not to. My ex has disappeared overseas and doesn’t pay child support for my 2 kids, whilst my partner ( who worksbin a low payed job) pays a crippling $80 a week. According to CSA my 2 worth less than his 1 child and they are not his dependents. Talk to centrelink and they are his dependents and I cannot get a part payment of the spp because he is finacially responsible for them. Our house is not suited to our needs and until I can get that elusive full time permanent job (which I have been looking for for 3 years without success ), we remain in poverty. I see no hope for the future and often think of ending my life.

  5. Skills to endure the future crises? Sounds like a band-aid solution. How about we work on what the crises are, and how to eliminate them. How many of these boys will have future dealings with Government Agencies like Child Support, Human Services and the Family Law Court? These agencies that drive men to suicide, it’s common knowledge, and it’s swept under the carpet. Lets get to the heart & soul of the issues that lead men to suicide. For 10 years I have been going through the Family Court, being made to jump hurdles to prove myself. Been dealing with Child Support as well, whom when my ex breaches court orders, they take more money from me, to the point i’m living in poverty. All the band-aid solutions, phonelines etc aren’t working. They may save a few percent from taking their life. What if these agencies were fixed? I reckon the suicide rate would drop dramatically. Child Support Australia – Time for Reform and Fairness is a Facebook group whose goal is to get changes made with Child Support. They have an online petition which will be submitted to Parliment when it reaches 10,000 signatures, and I don’t think that will be far off. What we need are groups like this, voices whom will stand up to promote changes in the system. I stand with them, why? Because I believe the changes will ultimately save lives. I also want to see the changes made so as my son doesn’t have to endure the same as I have had to deal with for the last 10 years. #reformcs

  6. Would be interesting to know just how many had dealings with parental alienation and the Child Support Authority.

  7. One of the biggest causes is the Child Support Agency arm of Department of Human Services. They continually push people to the brink of suicide as they feel hey have no other option.

    Here is a perfect example:

    Mr X. He has 3 children.
    Two of them are living at home with him – be it by their choice or the fact he has started a new family…
    the third child is being kept by his ex.
    Mr X is being forced to pay exorbitant amounts to his ex to ensure “that child shall not live in poverty”. – Quoted by the Hon Alan Tudge just recently.
    In doing so, The DHS, and the child support agency arm of DHS ENSURE that the other two children are living in poverty..
    Mr X has no control how to evenly split his money between his three children at all. DHS unfairly make sure 1 out of his 3 children are well looked after, and the other two miss out on every day activities, and food, and a roof over their heads.
    This puts undue amounts of pressure and stress on Mr X and he feels that he really has no other option.
    This happens Time and Time and Time again, yet DHS, and its ministers ignore this problem.

  8. I am another ‘victim’ of the failed Child Support system. Living with the bullying and harassment by CSA staff because I am a male and a payer has taken me to the edge many times. Unfortunately for me I’ve got another 14 years of this – how long before the Government ‘man’s up’ and acknowledges a failed system of broken males and alienated children? I don’t know if it can come soon enough…… #reformcs

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