Proudly supporting FNQ Emergency Services Ball
The FNQ Emergency Services Ball was held on Saturday night attended by our Cairns Associate Andrea Turner.
The Association is a group of emergency services personnel, that donate their time outside of their roles in our community as the front line workers to continue to raise money for the benefit of the local community. Over 400 guests attended the evening.
The dignitaries in attendance were:
- Commissioner Katerina Carroll from QLD Fire and Emergency Services
- Assistant Commissioner John Bolger from QFES
- Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor from QPS
- Assistant Commissioner Michelle Baxter QAS
- MP Rob Pyne member for Cairns
- The Honourable Warren Entch – Federal Minister for Leichhardt
The Association selected the Dr Edward Koch Foundation (“Foundation”) as the charity recipient for their annual event. The services that the Association represent, have by the nature of the type of work they undertake for the community daily, resulted in a higher risk of mental health and suicide. It is no secret from the local news reports that mental health services in FNQ are under resourced. As a result, this places a bigger pressure on our non-profit organisations to cater for the increase in demand for mental health services. One of the key messages the Foundation seeks to provide to the community through the delivery of their services, is awareness and prevention through early intervention, support and education for mental health and suicide.
In the last five (5) years the suicide rate across regional Queensland has increased by nearly a third. Statistically, the rate has risen from 13.6 per 100,000 in 2011 to 18.1 per 100,000 in 2015 and continues to climb. Every year more than 600 Queenslanders take their own lives and many more attempt suicide. The impact of these tragic events has a ripple effect within families, workplaces, communities and across Queensland. Suicide is a profoundly challenging and complex issue. There is no single solution, service or initiative that will reduce suicide and its impact. It requires all of us to play a role and share responsibility to support those at risk, their families and communities.
By raising funds for the Foundation, we, as a community can assist in providing more resources for the Foundation, which also in turn will provide services for our community, which includes the Association’s members who suffer from PTSD and vicarious trauma as a result of the work they undertake in the community on a day to day basis.
The Foundation is a local non-profit organisation with a focus in mental health, suicide and sudden death. The Foundation are not in receipt of state or federal funding and relies solely on community fundraising and grants to support its many programs which include;
- The Dr Edward Koch Foundation Life Program
- the Far North Queensland Suicide Prevention Taskforce;
- the Life Workshops;
- the Life Bereavement Support Service;
- the Life Community Plans; and
- the Life Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Bereavement Support Group.
The funds raised from this event, will be applied to the current local projects at the Foundation, which are as follows;
- Life Suicide Prevention Community Plans (all communities of North Queensland);
- Reprinting of vital suicide prevention taskforce resources;
- A full-time suicide prevention officer;
- Life Suicide Prevention Workshops delivery;
- Development of a Life Suicide Prevention Workshop for young people;
- Development of a Life Self-harm Prevention Workshop;
- The Koch Foundation Community Fund;
- The Declan Crouch Fund;
- C.R.E.W. (Creating Real Energy Within) – a drug rehabilitation program.
Mental health and suicide is not demographic specific, and it is not discriminatory in who it affects. By supporting this year’s Ball, we are supporting the community as a whole on a very important current media topic and service.