Today, October 1, we commemorate the loss of the young man whose legacy is The DENNY Foundation - Denny Purcell. 16 years ago, to this day, Denny took his own life after a long battle with depression and chronic mental health issues.
The DENNY Foundation was established in Denny's memory, in an effort to reach out to other young people in similar circumstances, and try to intervene such that their fate might not be the same.
Our programs aim to support vulnerable youth (in particular) in our community, while educating the public about mental health, and stomping out stigma through advocacy and creating better awareness of mental health issues - particularly depression, self harm, and suicide where it affects young people.
October 1 is also, ironically, the first day of national mental health month; and traditionally we at TDF run a range of intensive programs and campaigns throughout October, to highlight the mental health issues affecting young people in our community, and promote an increase in support for them.
Today we announce our 'Mental Health: It Matters!' campaign, which will officially launch on Tuesday at TDF, and will run all through October with the message the mental health is just as important to take care of as every other aspect of our health.
We will have some exciting activities happening, merchandise for purchase to support us at TDF, and the launch of our new website along with the announcement of a new suite of programs kicking off at TDF this month.
In the early hours of October 1, 16 years ago, an incredible young man slipped for a final time into the darkness that had for so long tormented him. His light went out that day, yet his life and story have continued to shine hope into thousands of other young hearts. Out of the loss of one life, thousands more have been saved. This is our purpose at The DENNY Foundation.
While this day is tainted with sadness for all those who knew and loved Denny, we also stand proud that in his honour we have changed countless lives, and we will continue to change many more.