The town of Emerald has an unfortunate reputation as the ‘suicide capital’ of Queensland and understandably they are desperate to lose that title. Last night WTAW founder Pauline Carrigan addressed a group of health professionals, teachers, community influencers and parents to share the story of what is happening here in the Upper Hunter.
Pauline explained how we’re taking a ‘prevention’ approach – that we’re not waiting around for kids to get sick, that through the Positive Education programmes being delivered in our classrooms we’re giving kids the tools to AVOID GETTING SICK IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! Just like ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ can prevent most cases of skin cancer, so can Positive Education prevent many cases of mental illness.
She also explained how it takes a whole village to make this happen. Just like with the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign where parents, grandparents, teachers, sports coaches reinforced the message of sun safety, we’re also asking parents, grandparents, teachers and sports coaches to step up and teach the kids about the importance of developing good wellbeing.
This ‘Whole Community Prevention’ approach was a lightbulb moment for many of those present in Emerald last night and they are ready to roll up their sleeves to take action.
While WTAW at this stage only has the capacity to operate in the Upper Hunter, our doors are wide open to share our knowledge and experiences with Emerald and we wish them well on such an important journey.