Memorial basketball carnival raises mental health awareness

Participants in the Isiah Kearing Memorial Cup.
Participants in the Isiah Kearing Memorial Cup.

MENTAL health awareness took centre court during a special basketball carnival at Cockburn ARC recently.

The Isiah Kearing Memorial Cup is a one-day carnival run to honour the 20-year-old son of organiser Shannon Kearing.

Mr Kearing said they used the event to raise awareness of mental health issues such as depression and suicide in both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

“We lost Isiah to suicide in 2013,” he said.

“Isiah was a strong, young cultural teacher who loved teaching culture through workshops and cultural dancing.

“People would seek him out for his wisdom and guidance to help with their problems.

“After we lost him, we didn’t want his name to be forgotten nor did I want what he did in our community to be forgotten.

“For the past five years we’ve held a basketball carnival in his name to bring about awareness of depression and suicide prevention.”

The 2018 carnival attracted 24 men’s and women’s teams, an increase on the inaugural event which included eight men’s teams.

The City of Cockburn ran a mental health awareness stall at the carnival, providing free information on depression and suicide prevention, and offered a grant for court hire fees so the event could be held.

For support and information contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).