Flip the Script

Cam, Claire and Joey Eardley.

Let’s change how we talk about suicide.

This 26 July will mark three years since the life I knew changed for ever. Kai – my 20-year-old son, ended his life. An unimaginable loss – the worst a parent can ever endure. In the first few months after Kai’s death, life was a blur. I was barely functioning and yet I knew I had to survive, for the sake of my other two sons Cam and Joey.

Suicide is not a choice – it happens when a person’s mental anguish overtakes their ability to cope and for Kai, sadly he reached that point. A young man unable to talk about his mental illness, or to even understand why he was so sad, Kai was left broken and simply wanting to end his pain. While Kai’s loss has changed me forever, my love for him will never diminish and my goal is to honour his life through the Kai Eardley Foundation.

The Kai Eardley Foundation exists to establish a platform where young men can have an unfiltered dialogue about how their lives are going, who they want to become and what meaningful impact they wish to make in the world. By creating a non-judgemental and safe environment, it’s hoped that young men will be able to express themselves freely and develop the skills to become emotionally resilient and positive about their future.

The foundation has grown greatly over the last 3 years since our initiation in February 2017. We’ve gained momentum and recognition within the community, supporting the delivery of over 120 Tomorrow Man workshops into schools and sporting clubs, reaching over 4500 boys.

Tomorrow Man is a Melbourne-based organisation and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to support their work. They facilitate workshops for boys and men Australia-wide. Their programs are aimed at boys in year 9 and above and focus on reinventing masculinity by breaking down old stereotypes. Currently there are four workshops in the pipeline over the next 5 months, covering the entire south west of WA.

If you are interested in holding a Tomorrow Man workshop into your school or sporting venue, please contact me through the website. My promise is that 100% of monies raised will go directly to supporting the workshops and will not be spent
in administration costs.

Our sons need to know there are people around who can help, and to realise they are not alone. I believe we need to get the community together to make a change, and I want Kai to be proud of me for making a difference. It’s not easy to talk about loss, but I hope together we can reduce the stigma around youth suicide, and ultimately save lives.

Claire Eardley

Visit the website for more information http://www.thekaieardleyfoundation.com.au
Or contact Claire Eardley claire@thekaieardleyfoundation.com.au or 0438 618 766

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