Luke Batty's tragic death highlights mental health crisis
IS IT just me or does everyone's heart ache today?
This week I was always going to write about children who deal with a parent's mental illness.
Little did I know Australia would be mourning an 11-year-old boy brutally murdered at cricket training by his own troubled father.
One in 10 adult Australians has a diagnosed, long-term mental illness. The burden their children carry cannot be under-estimated.
Make no mistake, at the school your children attend there are students who don't expect their mum to get out of bed today.
They will make their own lunch, probably for siblings too, usually from a very sparse cupboard. They will worry about what they don't have for sport, forge a note and hustle little ones to school in the best uniform they can find.
This afternoon they will get everyone home, check on their mum, probably get her some cigarettes and wonder what everyone will have for dinner.
They will stop their brothers and sisters from fighting, visit their mum in her room and hope like hell tomorrow is a better day.
There is a limited amount we can do to protect these kids and I know this is a big leap, but there is something you can do this week.
Next Friday Wishlist and the Brisbane Bombers are bringing the Bulldogs NRL club to the Coast for a fundraising breakfast at Alex Surf Club.
Speakers include Des Hasler, Michael Ennis and Raelene Castle, the first ever female CEO of an NRL club.
All money raised on the day will go to the charity Sunshine Coast Koping Network (SCKOPING) for children who live in families affected by mental illness and/or drugs and alcohol.
SCKOPING keeps an eye on the kids I was telling you about earlier.
Money raised at the breakfast will help pay for a getaway camp later in the year, to give these children/adults a chance to have fun, away from worry of their real life.
Too late for Luke Batty, but it's one of the best organisations I know on the Coast.
Tickets are $40 per person. Tables are of 10 and registrations can be booked online at wishlist.org.au.
Need help? Phone Lifeline 131114, Parents Helpline 1300301300, or
Kids Helpline 1800551800