Making Canberra Suicide Free by 2033
When I was very young, I remember my Mum telling me that ‘anything is possible’. I remember my little brain looking to test that statement with countless examples of what might be impossible, according to a toddler…
What about a flying dog? What about a really big car being that’s able to fit through a really small window?… despite all of the seemingly impossible scenarios I presented to her, she’d look at me with a sheepish grin and she’d say…
Anything is possible.
I’m thankful to my Mum for many reasons, but today, I’m thankful for that sense of optimism she instilled in me as a kid. Because that optimism is a big reason that Running for Resilience will be pursuing our new goal.
Running for Resilience (R4R) started with the goal of saving one life from suicide as many times as possible.
We started with that goal three years ago, because twelve years ago, my Dad committed suicide. We wanted to do something for our community that meant someone like my Dad would have something in his moment of darkness. We wanted to do something for people like me, who were left with such significant heartache from losing a loved one to suicide.
Three years on and this group has grown exponentially. Not just in numbers, but in meaning, in connection, and in impact. One month ago, Heidi Prowse from MIEACT told us that two people she’d spoken to, had credited R4R with saving their lives. I’ve also been told by people directly, that R4R has helped save their lives.
This community is saving lives from suicide.
Each and every one of you who contributes to this community, by turning up, week in and week out, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Rain, Hail, or shine, you’re efforts toward this community are saving lives from suicide.
Running for Resilience is not just a great thing to do. It’s not just an opportunity to exercise with mates, have a coffee, a beer, a water, a yarn after. It is validating the importance of resilience, it is normalising all of life’s struggles, it is helping people through the inevitable turbulence of life. It is also creating this unbelievable atmosphere that’s a safe space for someone to enter any given Wednesday night, to forget their problems for just a moment, to exit their heads for just a second, to just be in the moment and enter the evening with a fresh perspective. This community is saving lives from suicide.
To save one life from suicide, as many times as possible.
We think… we believe, that suicide is preventable. And that if one suicide can be prevented, we believe it is possible for all suicides to be prevented, and to us, as many times as possible, is making our society suicide free.
So we will maintain our personal approach, to save one life from suicide as many times as possible, but we will aim for something larger.
To make Canberra Suicide Free by 2033.
We know that we will save more lives with this community. We know that more lives will be saved with communities like this, and we know that by stating this goal, we are inviting more people to the table to help solve this problem
We aren’t entirely sure how we’ll reach our goal, but bloody oath, we know which direction we’re heading, and regardless of whatever hurdles or obstacles present themselves on our journey towards it, no matter what, we will Just. Keep. Moving.
New Goal, Same Process… For Now
A suicide free society is underpinned by a mentally healthy and resilient society. For people to have healthy coping mechanisms in their darkest struggles, they need healthy coping mechanisms for all struggles.
“Acknowledging the pain you’re feeling as real and moving forward despite it. Moving forward however you can, with the understanding that whilst it might suck now, it could always be worse, it can always get better, and that when it’s all said and done, you’ll be stronger for going through it.” - Our Community’s definition of resilience
We need to continue doing what has made Running for Resilience so great. We need to embrace everyone, and all struggles, regardless of their nature. We need to continue championing the importance of resilience, the belief that things will get better, and the mindset that whatever someone might be facing, the best thing they can do, is to ‘Just. Keep. Moving.’… however you can, and however that may be.
Just. Keep. Moving.