FORMER Dockers captain David Mundy has joined forces with a local not-for-profit that raises awareness of suicide in young people.
The Fremantle-based Kai Fella Foundation was started by Claire Eardley OAM in 2018, after her son Kai tragically took his own life when he was just 20 years old.
After getting a feel for how the Foundation operates, Mundy will become chairperson of the board next year.
“What inspired me to join Kai Fella is the story of its origins – Claire and her family went through an absolute tragedy, but from that tragedy they have formed something really powerful,” he says.
After Claire’s son Kai died in 2016, the East Fremantle family were determined to honour his memory by stopping the increasing rate of suicide in young people.
Over the past five years they have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of suicide prevention by funding workshops and initiatives that help young people navigate mental illness.
Last year Kai Fella provided about 500 workshops across WA for 11,000 young people.
Afterwards, 90 per cent of participants said they now felt comfortable reaching out to a friend or family member for help.
“Kai Fella are looking to create modern solutions for modern challenges,” Mundy says.
“We know that what young people are facing today is very different to what I faced in my youth and what others faced in their youth, so as society changes, we’re looking to be on that front edge to improve the lives of young people across our state.”
Suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people in Australia and in WA.
A total of 39 young people aged between 15 and 24 died from intentional self-harm in WA in 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Although still high, it’s a decrease from 2021 when 47 young people died by suicide, and in 2020 when 58 young people died.
To donate to the Kai Fella Foundation or find out more about them see kaifella.com.au.