Judging by the early signs, an initiative of the newly formed network, Gezza Cares, will be turning our region Yellow, as a way of sending a message of solidarity, kindness and hope for everyone in light of recent tragedies.
Following advice and the experience of professionals in the field, Gezza Cares decided to implement a yellow theme across Gerringong, but are delighted people in other locations are joining in.
Evidence demonstrates that a quick response by a community to suicide can assist to reduce suicide contagion (multiple suicides in a short space of time in one area).
The initiative is kicking off on Saturday 22 August, but many have got into the spirit early.
Paramedic and Gezza Cares spokesperson Shane Wicks says, “Yellow is the colour of hope.
“Gezza Cares would love to see our town turning yellow as a sign of compassion and support for all those affected by the sad events in our greater community lately, and to create a sense of hope and solidarity.
“We love that the community has already jumped on board and we are seeing yellow bows, ribbons and hearts all over town.
“There is yellow on our letterboxes, along gates and fences, yellow pom poms and garlands hanging from trees, yellow stickers going up in shop fronts and ribbons on cars and bikes.
“Our local sports clubs and schools are all taking up the yellow theme initiative in their own unique ways too.”
This includes yellow electrical tape being used as armbands at upcoming sporting matches.
Maggie Dent, author, parenting and resilience educator and resident of Gerringong, says, “I want to emphasise the importance of giving people something to do after a series of tragedies like
these, a way to understand and start to process what has happened, and manage our big feelings about it all.
“Our young people are ahead of us in that they can identify the things they need to do to help each other through this.
“By Yellowing Up Gerringong and surrounds it gives everyone a role to play and a way to begin the long process of healing.”
There are 1 m yellow ribbon lengths available to the community to put in a place that is meaningful to them around town. Yellow electrical tape is also available for sports clubs to use as armbands at upcomingmatches. Both of these items can be picked up from the Gerringong Bowling Club.
If you have ideas for other initiatives, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Important community resources
Your mental wellness is important. If you are experiencing mental illness, or are feeling challenged by life right now, you are not alone.
Please put these numbers in your phone in case you or anyone you know needs them.
Kids Helpline – Counselling for young people aged 5-251800 55 1800 | kidhelpline.com.au
Suicide Call Back Service – Anyone thinking about suicide1300 659 457 | suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Lifeline – Anyone having a personal crisis13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue – Anyone feeling anxious or depressed1300 22 4636 | beyondblue.org.au
000 – Is it an emergency? Call triple zero now (000)