WILL Carrigan was a successful, hard-working member of the Upper Hunter community.
But, on Christmas Day 2015, the popular young man tragically took his own life.
In the wake of his death, Mr Carrigan’s family set up a local charity called ‘Where There’s A Will’ to promote awareness of mental health within Upper Hunter schools.
Now, to assist them on their journey, the annual Manali Limousin & Lim-Flex Bull Sale in Scone next Friday will raise much-needed funds for the new foundation.
Lynda MacCallum said all proceeds from either lot one or lot two plus a side of beef, donated by Alexander Downs, would go towards the charity.
“It’s been a good fundraiser in the past,” she said.
“Usually we donate to the Steve Waugh Foundation, but this year it’ll be ‘Where There’s A Will.’
“The reason we’re supporting [this charity] is because we think it’s a brilliant concept – mental health is a real issue in our society.
“The Carrigans are good family friends and have also been clients of ours for many years, so we want to support the foundation in Will’s memory.”
Following Mr Carrigan’s death, his family began to explore the topic of mental illness, finding some surprising statistics.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, suicide was the leading cause of death in the nation for males and females aged 15-44 between 2011-2013.
Over a five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the average number of suicide deaths per year was 2577.
This amounts to more than seven people every day.
‘Where There’s A Will’ aims to support schools by delivering recognised mental health programs from preschool through to Year 12. It focuses on developing the skills, knowledge and strategies needed for personal resilience.
Mr Carrigan's mother Pauline said the MacCallum's gesture would kick start the process.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Jim and Lynda MacCallum,” she said.
“Their offer to donate proceeds from the first bull sold at the Manali sale will provide a great kick start to begin the education process.”
All money raised will go directly towards:
- delivering recognised mental health programs from pre-school through to year 12;
- providing mental health education for teachers and support staff.
Anyone wishing to join Jim and Lynda in making a donation can do so by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
The bull sale will be held at “Yarramac”, Scone, on July 29.
- 'Where There's A Will' is committed to accountability and transparency. All money raised will be used to directly pay the invoices for teachers to attend a training course.