• Tasman Jarrett talks about the importance of culture for mental health (NITV)Source: NITV
The Nambucca Valley has been rocked to the core with the suicide of a beloved 14-year-old Aboriginal boy
By
Danny Teece-Johnson

Source:
NITV News
11 Sep 2015 - 9:07 AM  UPDATED 11 Sep 2015 - 9:07 AM

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: The Nambucca Valley has been rocked to the core with the suicide of a beloved 14-year-old Aboriginal boy.

He's one of three in the region to have taken their own lives in the last six weeks.

Now the community come together to pay tribute to their lost mate and to create discussion around suicde awareness.

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Tasman Jarrett, is an older cousin of the young boy who tragically took his own life. He is also a young leader in the Valley and says it's time young people came together and talked about the issue of suicide.

Danny Teece-Johnson: A brother. A cousin. A team mate. A life lost.

The boys of the Nambucca Roosters under 15s, united in grief to play for their brother.

Wrists taped and black arm bands serve as a reminder of the burden they carry on their young shoulders, a burden carried by too many of our children.

Tasman Jarrett, family member: I think we've just gotta keep a close eye on not only our loves but everyone that's cruising around who has problems, and just need to look deeper into them, 'cause they're not going to show it so we need to even pull them to the side and ask them, like when you can , just one on one, maybe not make it so obvious, but just let them know that if there is something up.

"We've just gotta keep a close eye on not only our loves but everyone" 

You're there for them, and there's lot of people there for them and it's not the wrong thing to express yourself.

Danny Teece-Johnson: They battled away for the next hour, this was their grand final. It was about paying respect and a way to deal with loss.

As the rainbow broke overhead like a sign from the ancestors, the Nambucca boys held on to claim an emotional victory.

Young footy player: I just play my heart out for my brother. Too bad he couldn't be here with us. 

Danny Teece-Johnson: But as the this community unites in the wake of this tragedy, it's story is all too familiar to our people.

Tasman Jarrett: When something like suicide does happen and occur, then I think it just changes people's perspective of like, what we're really doing, and in a way I think it shows that you know, we need to man up and be a bit stronger, and be there for our people no matter what the divide is or what our differences are.

Sorry business is the only way our families really get together, that's the sad thing, with Aboriginal people, that's the only way we get together.

But in saying that it hopefully brings us together in a good way and hopefully stops the rates because as Aboriginal people, I think we're the highest suicide rate in Australia. We're like the lowest percentage in Australia, which is shocking.

"Go to speak to your aunties, go speak to your nan, your great grandmothers, whoever you can, to learn things about your cultures"

Danny Teece-Johnson: Tasman Jarrett believes it's a return to family and culture that will help save many more young people who are suffering alone.

Tasman Jarrett: Go to speak to your aunties, go speak to your nan, your great grandmothers, whoever you can, to learn things about your cultures because that's where our identity is at the end of the day, it doesn't matter about the outside world around us, we're still back to our roots, back to our elders, and once we find ourselves in that I think everything else will just fall into place.

"Once we find ourselves in that I think everything else will just fall into place"

Just stay true to yourself and your culture and you're going to get through it all but culture is the main thing.

Danny Teece-Johnson, with a tear in his eye for NITV News.