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October 19, 2021

Raising awareness in memory of Dale

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Katelyn and Dale at a friend’s wedding in 2017. Photo Eliza McDonald.

Eve Jeffery

Katelyn Blake had no idea that her life was about to change forever when she woke up one morning, not long before Christmas, in 2018. The space where her partner Dale slept a few hours earlier was empty, and she did not know then that she would not spend another night with him.

Dale Hayes, like many young men, was suffering depression in silence and sadly, he took his own life.

Katelyn says Dale was the funniest, and most kindhearted man she knew. ‘We shared the most incredible memories, and we had so many amazing plans for our future. Not a day goes by without his presence being extremely missed.’

Katelyn believes that if we can raise awareness about issues surrounding mental health, then other young men like Dale might seek help before it’s too late.

Raising awareness about mental health

‘Raising awareness about mental health is so important to me, because it helps in breaking the stigma around depression and other mental illnesses. It has the ability to help those who are silently suffering to not feel so alone, and it can help them have the courage to speak up and to reach out for help.’

To celebrate what would have been Dale’s birthday this coming Saturday, and to raise funds and awareness for mental health, Katelyn, along with Dale’s family, Sue, Scott, Sarah and his good mate Rob, are hosting a fun day in Mullumbimby for mental health organisations Beyond Blue and breakingFree.

‘We have packed the day full of activities for kids, adults and everyone in between. We want everyone to bring the whole family along. ‘This cause is very close to our hearts as we lost a partner – a really great mate, and a very much loved family member in 2018. ‘We have organised this day to celebrate Dale Hayes and to raise awareness around the importance of mental health. Absolutely everyone is welcome.’

The market day fundraiser will be held at the Mullum Leagues Club on February 22 from 4pm. Activities during the evening will include the Collective food trucks, face painting, a jumping castle, live music, raffles, and much more, as well as a performance from Khan, from 7pm. For any enquiries or information email: [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/ events/318218382425679.

The Market day is on this coming Saturday in Mullumbimby.

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