CLAIRE Eardley likes to imagine one day her son might give her a congratulatory high five and say ‘you were busy’, instead of finding her gripped by a lifetime’s worth of grief.
Last year Kai Eardley ended his life aged 20 despite the efforts of loved ones to save it.
On Friday, Mrs Eardley’s physiotherapy clinic in East Fremantle opened 24 hours for a fundraising festival with the ultimate goal of bringing Victoria’s Man Up Workshops to WA schools on a permanent basis.
The Kai Eardley Fund will pass on donations to a charity prepared to give the money to Man Up.
“Suicide is now the biggest killer of men aged between 19 and 45. Twelve men are lost to suicide every day and our hope is to reduce this number,” Mrs Eardley said.
“It definitely helps (with the grief) trying to reframe something that is not very nice into something that is more positive.
“Every $30 we raise will fund one boy’s attendance at a two-hour interactive workshop by inspirational facilitator and People Development expert Tom Harkin.”
Man Up is in WA conducting 11 workshops in various schools, helping young men understand it is normal to have times when they are emotionally fragile or feel vulnerable and that these feelings can be expressed instead of being repressed.
Mrs Eardley said she wanted to get boys talking before there was any label or diagnosis and to help people rehearse what to do if they do found themselves in a crisis.
“Maybe we can help them see a way out earlier,” she said.
The fundraiser was the inaugural Pilates For a Purpose event, with 20-minute slots of reformer pilates available for a donation and family activities, including dance classes, massage, outdoor movie screenings and wood-fired pizza with mocktails.
To donate online or to buy a T-shirt, visit https://fr-emantlefoundation.simpleher-o.com/purchase/59106-The-Kai-Eardley-Fund-Donations.
For help, call beyondblue on 1300 224636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.