Al­ways be kind to each other

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Kenji Sato

The com­mu­nity gath­ered on Novem­ber 4 to hon­our the mem­ory of 14-year old Amanda Gren­nan, who com­mit­ted sui­cide in Au­gust.

The Rise Above me­mo­rial was a chance for fam­ily and friends to share mem­o­ries of their time with Amanda and talk about is­sues sur­round­ing men­tal health.

Amanda’s friend Amanda Spratt ini­ti­ated the event and fam­ily friend Jem Houza­ife was the or­gan­iser.

‘‘My heart is bro­ken as a mother to see Amanda Gren­nan’s mother and fam­ily and friends try to cope with life with­out their beau­ti­ful girl,’’ Ms Houza­ife said.

‘‘If only any­one who passed away through sui­cide knew how much they were loved.’’

Many tears were shed on the day, but the event was light­ened with fun ac­tiv­i­ties, which is what Amanda would have wanted, ac­cord­ing to her friends and fam­ily.

There were jelly-eat­ing com­pe­ti­tions, guest speak­ers, live mu­sic and a fash­ion show in hon­our of Amanda’s love of fash­ion and fun.

SLANG Streedance Com­mu­nity chore­ographed an orig­i­nal show for Rise Above with dancers from as far away as Bal­larat, Stawell, Co­lac and Mary­bor­ough.

There were guest speak­ers from Life­line, Rive­rina Blue­bell, Ig­nite Life Church and Health and Life­styles Re­treat Ber­ri­gan who all spoke about de­pres­sion and men­tal health.

Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity do­nated gifts for the raf­fle and all pro­ceeds went to sup­port­ing the Gren­nan fam­ily.

Co­bram BP, Ba­rooga Gen­eral Store, CSIS and an anony­mous per­son all gave do­na­tions.

Ms Houza­ife said Rise Above was started as a one­off event, but she hoped it would be­come an on­go­ing group to pro­vide re­sources and con­tacts to help spread aware­ness and sup­port for men­tal health.

‘‘What­ever your prob­lem is you are fac­ing, there is al­ways some­one who will help you,’’ she said.

‘‘You are not alone. Talk to some­one, whether it is a friend a rel­a­tive or a hot­line. Never give up hope.

‘‘A new day is wait­ing for you to live, to en­joy. Life is not al­ways so hard, it has its mo­ments.

‘‘There will be joy. You will rise above.’’

Ms Houza­ife thanked the or­gan­i­sa­tions that helped make the day a suc­cess, in­clud­ing Moira Shire for pro­vid­ing park hire and pub­lic li­a­bil­ity, Teen Chal­lenge, Child­splay Amuse­ments, Apex, Brews Bus Cof­fee, St Johns First Aid, Bourke Hire, Brian Hicks Trans­port, Henna by Azeesa, Life­styles Mer­chant Stylists and Prop hire and Co­bram Ho­tel.

‘‘Lastly, Amanda’s mum would like ev­ery­one to be kind to one an­other,’’ Ms Houza­ife said.

‘‘Talk to each other, your friends and fam­ily.’’

For as­sis­tance, please phone Life­line’s 24-hour sui­cide help line on free-call 131 114. Chil­dren and young adults aged under 25 can also call the Kids Helpline on freecall 1800 551 800.

Look af­ter your­self: Holis­tic health coach and nu­tri­tion­ist Gra­cie Balev em­braces an at­tendee af­ter speak­ing at the me­mo­rial for Amanda Gren­nan.

Me­mo­rial: Amanda Gren­nan took her own life aged 14.

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