As anyone who has been close to someone that has committed suicide knows, there is no other pain like that felt after the incident. – Peter Greene
Did you know that here in Australia, around 600 more people commit suicide each year than are killed in car accidents? We hear a lot about the tragic loss of life on our roads, and so we should, but we don’t often hear about the tragic loss of life through people who simply decide that they no longer wish to keep living.
One organisation trying to do something to turn these horrific figures around is Youth Focus. Youth Focus is a West Australian, non-profit community based organisation working with young people who are showing early signs associated with suicide, depression and self-harm. Youth Focus can also provide services to their families. Youth Focus values young lives by ensuring the emotional well-being of young people, developing their self worth and offering them the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Youth and Family Services Team comprises of professionally qualified youth and family counsellors with extensive experience working in this specialised area.
On the 26th of March 40 men and women will start a ride from Albany to Perth raising money to help fund the excellent work that Youth Focus does. This will be the fifth Ride for Youthand this year alone they hope to raise over $500 000 through the ride.
I’m going to keep up to date with training and preparations for the ride by chatting to a couple of the riders during my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM.
I had the first of our chats this morning. I talked to James Sutherland who has been on each of the four rides so far and will be back on the bike this year. I also chatted to Sue Johnston who has been connected to the event since it started but is riding for the first time this year.
Some homes resemble a war zone. Siblings insist on battling it out to the end. Parents get more and more frazzled trying to keep the peace.
What can you do if your children are constantly fighting? Some people just pass it off as something that kids will do, no matter what, but if we don’t act to stop fighting, especially physical exchanges, our children can carry inadequate conflict resolution skills into adulthood.
Thankfully Emily and James get on very well and most of the time they can live peacefully with each other. Even when there is friction, they know how to push each others’ buttons and get a reaction but it’s very rare for it to get violent.
My bike has needed a clean for quite some time but I’ve been putting it off.
I finally decided it was time to get on with the job and so I asked James to join me in the backyard yesterday where we set about a bit of bicycle maintenance. First task was to replace a couple of spokes on Emily’s bike then we did a couple of other bits and pieces before the big cleaning job.
One of the reasons I’ve been putting off cleaning my bike is that when I do get around to it I go all out. Off comes the chain, the chain rings, the wheels, the rear cluster and all sorts of other bits and pieces. Then it’s into the degreasing fluid and out with hot soapy water.
Throughout the whole process I explained every step to James. I know that he’s only eight but I figure he’s got to start somewhere.
I talked about the special tools we used and the reason we did all the things we did. There were a few momentary lapses in concentration on his part but most of the time he was more than happy to talk about what we were doing and to help where he could.
Finally we put the bike back together and I can assure you that this morning’s ride to work was one of the sweetest ever.
It was so wonderful to spend that time with James doing ‘guy’ stuff together. He loves knowing how things work and most of the time when I asked him to figure out what each of the parts did he quickly assessed the situation and came up with the right answer.
I certainly hope that by the time he has developed the skills to do all his own bicycle maintenance he’ll let me help.