I have just given a very brief detail here of a frustrating and painful journey.
Our only son Jason (aged 19) was diagnosed with schizophrenia, paranoia and severe depression six months prior to his death. However his illness was showing well before with a complete personality and character change. He became a person we did not know. He became a person I was scared of. I was scared of my own son. Finally he said “Mum Please Help Me!” that was when I sighed with relief because now we could seek help, he was willing and wanting help.
But alas, it was the beginning of the end. No matter what services I rang and spoke to, nobody was interested in assisting our son or our family. We all had to cope alone, in silence and the best way we could with the little knowledge we had of mental illness.
During that six months, Jason tried twice in one day to kill himself. First by connecting the hose to the exhaust pipe of his car, which he could not get to work, then secondly by an overdose of prescribed medication. We found him frothing from the mouth and rang the ambulance immediately who rushed him to emergency of mental health.
After a couple of days of the treatment, the Psychiatrist rang me and said in his professional opinion our son was OK to come home. I begged and pleaded that our son was not OK. Jason wanted to remain in hospital. He knew he needed professional medical help; he was constantly telling me that he was going to kill himself. The treating Psychiatrist did not take any of this into account or our opinions of our son’s condition. None of this made any difference to the treating Psychiatrist, as in his professional opinion he knew best and Jason was released.
Three weeks later Jason placed himself in front of a train on the 29 May 1999.
Hence the formation of the White Wreath Assoc – Action Against Suicide.
– Fanita Clark
Aims & Goals
OUR AIMS ARE:
- Establishment of Safe Haven Centres where no-one suffering a mental illness will be denied treatment.
- Promote public awareness by educating the public on the alarming increase in suicide numbers and mental illness disorders in our society.
- Make changes to the Confidentiality Laws that allows medical information to be given to family members caring for a mentally ill/disordered loved one.
- Remove the unfounded myths and stigmas often associated with suicide.
- Remind the whole of Australia that every life is precious. Suicide victims are not just statistics, but were dearly loved human beings; loved by their families and carers.
The White Wreath Association is a non-denominational, non-political and anti-discriminatory body supporting people who have been directly affected by suicide and those who are affected by mental illness/disorders.
One of the services the White Wreath Association offers to all Australians who have been touched in some way by Suicide and Mental Illness is that of advocate.
When you or someone you know attempts Suicide, suffers Severe Depression or is affected by Mental Illness, the last thing you want is to cope alone.
The White Wreath Association recognises this and in an effort to assist offers to help bridge the gap between Organisations and Individuals.
If you are having difficulties with a Government Department, Medical Professionals or Local Authorities in relation to your own or a loved one’s Suicide or Mental Illness then we will help.
Fanita Clark, founder of this Association has spent a lot of time in contact with many Organisations and Departments and has had a good deal of success in helping people to get information and support they need in their area. The White Wreath Association Ltd has a strong network of support and there are many individuals within these Departments and Organisations who are also willing to help.
If you feel this service could be of use to you then please do not hesitate to call Fanita on : 1300 766 177
The White Wreath Association has volunteers and supporters from all over the country and wherever you are we will try to ensure you have the support you need when you need it.
The primary focus of the White Wreath Association is to raise funds in order to establish Safehaven Centres, care facilities to treat and aid those suffering mental illnesses and a place to go to for those who are suicidal.
In Australia we have to come to terms with the trauma of thousands of our fellow citizens; men, women and children who are suiciding every year.
For those left behind , these tragedies are traumatic and painful. Yet society’s response to these surviving families and friends is vastly different to the response and compassion offered to families who have suffered the loss of someone due to other types of illnesses, accidents and tragedies. It seems that no one cares or understands that the families and friends of suicide victims are in need of as much help and support as other members of our society and are just as deserving of our understanding and respect.
For the past few years a group of volunteers have travelled Australia creating – in the wider community – awareness of the misunderstandings and myths relating to mental illness and providing community education in regards to the serious lack of appropriate treatments.
These volunteers strive to promote awareness and response in the greater community of the issues in mental health and we thank them for their constant support.
Since our incorporation our achievements have been many, we have:
- established National White Wreath Day in remembrance of all Victims of Suicide
- established the Sock It To Suicide Campaign held during the THIRD week October yearly
- provided help to thousands of Australians
- established a website and newsletters for sending information and updating members and supporters
- created a national membership program.
We would be very grateful if you can help us to help our fellow Australians through donations or support of our fundraising ventures to raise the much-needed funds required. Please visit our donate/shop page to see how you can help. Maybe you can assist our Association directly or perhaps refer our organisation to other contacts you know who may be able to assist us achieve our goal.
With your help we will achieve our goal and together reduce the frightening suicide figures that are growing at a staggering rate.