Australian woman receives award for Suicide Prevention

As a person who has lost her brother to suicide, I am pleased to share this article on Sydney Chic. You can read my heartbreak story here written many years ago, and published on one of my other blogs in 2015. 23 years on I think about Gary (Mars Solar) Doran every day.

Ally Kelly, CEO and founder of the mental health charity, Mind Blank, was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award presented by Suicide Prevention Australia as part of the LiFE awards 2021. Mind Blank was founded by Ally to promote mental wellbeing in schools, workplaces, and communities.

The LiFE awards recognises excellence in suicide prevention. This national event attracts diverse nominations with an interest in suicide prevention and support of Australian’s affected by suicide.

Ally took out the category of ‘Outstanding Contribution’ for her state, Queensland. She is incredibly proud and honoured to be rewarded for her efforts in mental health and suicide prevention. Especially as her charity, Mind Blank, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year.

Ally says: “It is an absolute honour to accept a LiFE Award. A decade ago I set out on a journey to advocate for a voice for children and young people in this sector space…The honest reality is that I would not be here celebrating today if it wasn’t for the bystander who intervened in my story. At that moment I was given the opportunity to break a cycle of oppression that women in my family have experienced for generations.”

The Outstanding Contribution Award recognises individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to address, prevent, or respond to suicidal behaviours and their impact on people, families, communities, and the Australian population.

Since its inception in 2011, Mind Blank has continued to raise the bar to empower Australians to build skills and promote wellbeing in schools, workplaces, and communities.

Ally started Mind Blank as she saw a gap in the sector. Mind Blank programs focus on early intervention to allow individuals/communities to create and support wellness strategies.

The interactive workshops are not only fun and engaging, but provide practical tools to help with early detection, help-seeking, and uptake of a speak-up culture. Advocating the need for communities to focus on prevention before it gets to a mental health crisis.

With perseverance and sheer determination, Ally continues to share her personal story to shine a light on suicide-prevention and early intervention.

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