Golden trek for good cause

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Kyah with mum Dee Franklin.
Camera IconKyah with mum Dee Franklin.

A Golden Bay mother is hoping to raise money and awareness around youth mental health and suicide prevention, after losing her daughter in September last year.

Weeks after her 20-year-old daughter, Kyah, took her life in September, Dee Franklin established Kyah’s Tribe.

The group of mental health champions walked 15km along a Golden Bay beach in the inaugural Walk For Me event. The walk, run through Youth Focus, raised $13,454.

This year, Ms Franklin will take part in the event again, held during Mental Health Week in October.

She hopes highlighting prevention measures will save young lives. “I thought if we can save one family from enduring this pain, then it is worth it,” she said.

“Kyah was an amazing person ... naturally quite good at everything she did and anything she tried. I think that’s why this doesn’t make sense to all of us. Never in a million years would I have thought we would lose Kyah like this.

“We had a conversation a week or so before she died. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and we were chatting and she said ‘I’m so happy at the moment, everything in my life is so good right now’.”

Ms Franklin said she had not known the gravity of Kyah’s struggle with anxiety. She later found out Kyah was drinking alcohol heavily at times, had been prescribed an anti-depressant and had re-engaged with a private counsellor.

“You just have to look on the internet to see what the combination of this drug and alcohol does to people and suicidal tendencies is one of the biggest dangers,” she said.

“I would say to young people out there, if you can’t talk to your mum or dad, please, please talk to someone you trust, whether it be a friend, a friend’s parent or Youth Focus.

“Young people also need to know how to help their friends if they’re struggling. There needs to be greater education and awareness about things they can do.”

The Walk For Me event allows participants to decide where, when and the distance they will walk.

Participants can walk 15km, 24km or 49km, representing the 49 young people who died by suicide in WA in the 2019 in the 15-24 age bracket.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800;Lifeline 13 11 14

Kyah's Tribe from last year's walk.
Camera IconKyah's Tribe from last year's walk.

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