UKI BURCHILL’S MIS­SION

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Moya Stevens

YOUNG lo­cal Uki Burchill is en­list­ing help from around the shire for her grant ap­pli­ca­tion for sui­cide pre­ven­tion pro­grams, aimed par­tic­u­larly at young peo­ple.

“Over re­cent years we have lost many young peo­ple to sui­cide,” Ms Burchill said, “and I have also had some very down times when sui­cide went through my mind.”

She be­lieves pres­sure on young peo­ple that leads to sui­cide is due to many fac­tors, of­ten from the de­sire “to fit in”.

“It can also be fam­ily prob­lems, school or not hav­ing a job,” she said.

Af­ter work­ing in a re­mote com­mu­nity in West­ern Aus­tralia and gain­ing a qual­i­fi­ca­tion in Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion, Ms Burchill de­vel­oped her own pro­gram, Stand Strong, which she hopes to in­tro­duce to here.

“We don’t want to lose more peo­ple to sui­cide and this pro­gram will help not only Bama but hope­fully the com­mu­nity in gen­eral,” she said.

Some of the strate­gies of the pro­gram in­clude train­ing other young peo­ple in Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion and fa­cil­i­tat­ing cul­tural camps on coun­try where young in­dige­nous and el­ders can con­nect with their cul­ture.

Ms Burchill is seek­ing let­ters of sup­port for the grant of $10,000 through the Com­mu­nity Led Grant pro­gram of the De­part­ment of Prime Min­is­ter and Cab­i­net.

“I have al­ready re­ceived sup­port let­ters from the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil and First Na­tions Peo­ples, but I would like more, from in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions,” Ms Burchill said.

Ms Burchill can be con­tacted via her Face­book page, Uki Burchill.

We don’t want to lose more peo­ple to sui­cide and this pro­gram will help not only Bama but hope­fully the com­mu­nity in gen­eral

Uki Burchill

Picture: MOYA STEVENS

Uki Burchill: seek­ing sup­port for a good cause

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