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In 2014, an average of 7.8 Australians died by suicide each day. That’s 2,864 people who lost their lives in a single year. That’s not acceptable. At the Alive Crusade, our ultimate goal is suicide prevention. We want to change the way Australia thinks about depression and anxiety and offer a real alternative to the current treatment system. From those who need help with their own mental health to the health care professionals who treat those who are suffering –  we know something has to change. Suicide rates in Australia have remained consistent over the last decade, so we know our current system isn’t working.

That’s where we come in. The devoted team at Alive Crusade is committed to providing a real alternative for people with depression and anxiety. Presently the “options” are less like options, and more like a path down a slope. People tend to struggle along, coping alone until they eventually are referred to a psychiatrist by their doctor. Those who are referred will begin therapy and medication, but if those don’t help or their condition worsens, the only other option is to be institutionalized. That’s it. There’s no midway point or intermediary. That’s the end of the line for treatment.

That isn’t good enough.

Together, we are going to raise the standards for suicide prevention and depression and anxiety treatments by building an Alive centre that’s as committed to saving lives as we are.

We encourage you to please check back frequently. We’ll regularly be posting details about all of our events, fundraisers, and pop-up shops and will be sharing our progress. However, if you’d like to get involved another way or in between our scheduled events, you can always find details on our donation and volunteering pages. If you’ve come across us because your organization, school, or business is interested in having an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) session, you can find details about that program on our ASIST page.

If you are struggling with depression and are seeking resources, please visit our self-help section. (Should a disclaimer about “If you are in crisis please contact X for emergency assistance” go here?) Remember, it’s okay to say #ImNotOk.


About Alive Crusade

Alive Crusade is a dedicated team of inspired individuals. Ultimately we’re a non-profit, charity organization committed to revamping suicide prevention and depression treatment. We know that the current system fails a lot of people, and we’re going to change that by literally building a better solution. Here at the Alive Crusade, we’ve all been deeply touched by depression or suicide. Odds are that you know someone who has suffered from some type of depression during their lifetime. Who knows? It might even be you.

The fact that we can say that with confidence means that suicide prevention and depression are prominent health concerns. That is how we know we need a dramatic shift in perception and patient care. We can’t expect things to get better if we keep following the same path. This powerful drive to make a difference and change how we see and treat depression is ultimately why we began the Alive Crusade.

To more fully understand what we’re about and why we are going to change mental health in Australia, we’d like you to meet the team. Another way to find out about us and see what our supporters are saying is to key in #ItsOkToSayImNotOk or #ImNotOk on social media.


Meet the Team

Bron – For roughly 15 years, Bron has worked to stop people from committing suicide. 15 years spent saving lives. That’s not something to be taken lightly. Even though being with people in the deepest realm of despair and sharing their anger and pain is not easy work, Bron can’t imagine doing anything else. That’s what led her to the Alive Crusade. She has learned that there is always an answer and that there is always a way to stay alive. It’s just that sometimes people need help coming to that realization and finding their reason to live. That’s what made her want to pursue ASIST certification, and is why she continues to share her knowledge as part of the Alive Crusade team. She loves being a part of an energetic, diverse group who is set to change the way Australia and the world think about anxiety, depression, and mental health. To quote her: “It is about being ALIVE and staying ALIVE.”

Jules – She grew up surrounded by sufferers of schizophrenia, alcoholism, and depression. She saw first-hand people she cared about destroy themselves. She can still clearly remember hiding under the bed while her family members rampaged through her house. Ultimately, many people she loved committed suicide or ended up homeless and addicted to drugs. Her family, though faced with substantial dysfunction, is still tightly knit in spite of their struggles and losses. Their spirit and determination still inspires us, here. Beyond her childhood experiences, Jules herself has been plagued by panic attacks most of her life. When she was younger, she battled a self-destructive anger that nearly destroyed her. Now her passionate energy is channeled into the Alive Crusade. She sees it as an opportunity for everyone to admit when they are not okay, and get help.

Denee – For a long time he never believed in depression, and couldn’t relate to people who said they had problems with anxiety or depression. Regrettably, he was one of those folks who would have offered the worst advice to depression or anxiety sufferers. You know the ones, they tend to suggest things like “getting out more” and “stop thinking like that” when someone they know needs support. That all changed a few years ago. While training one of his business mentors Denee saw depression in its fullest, rawest form. It changed his life. Soon after witnessing the breakdown, the man Denee had looked up to became very ill, and within a few years passed away. It wasn’t suicide, but Denee maintains that the severe depression took a toll on the man’s body, and led to his passing. That experience and loss are what led Denee to the Alive Crusade. He puts focus on mental health as well as physical health because he realizes that you can’t have one without the other. Through the Crusade, he has seen first hand how therapies, environment, and contact with the right people can turn lives around.

Jess – Jess is the CEO of Alive Crusade. She began to get depressed while at uni. She was nearly 3 years into a 6-year law degree. The program seemed to be taking an eternity, and the focus on law added more pressure to an already challenging program. She was struggling to improve her performance, to no avail. During that time, she lost several close family members and was also juggling the added stress of building a house with her partner. Her coping mechanisms began to break down, and she stopped being able to go anywhere. She just wanted to sleep all day, and all night. She visited a doctor, and during the visit, she couldn’t stop crying. She got to see a psychiatrist quickly, but after her first week of antidepressants, Jess had her first major panic attack. (It would be one of many. She still faces them to this day.) After her psychiatrist changed her medication, she was slowly able to go back to being herself. Finally, she could enjoy life again. Her experience and several losses along the way of others who were battling depression led her to found Alive Crusade. Now it is her goal to establish Alive centres which will change the way we think about mental health, and help those who are still struggling.


The Alive Centre Project

The Alive Centres are at the heart of what we do. We recognize that the current system is flawed. We know this not only because of people we personally know who have been failed by the methods of treatment which are in place but by the statistics we see released every year. Together, those things clearly indicate our lack of progress.

That ends now.

Within the next few years, we will begin building our first Alive Centre, committed to suicide prevention and aiding people who are at various stages of the coping cycle. Unlike the traditional set up where you visit a doctor, who refers you to a psychiatrist, who prescribes medication and/or begins treatment for anxiety or depression. If you get fail to get better or your condition deteriorates, the only other option is to become institutionalized.

Alive Centres will be structured differently, and will be all-inclusive. The building, and treatment plan, will be structured into stages. The first stage will be a drop in center with a traditional reception area and counselors. The second stage, our triage area, will offer counseling as well as well-being and health services for those who need more advanced or in-depth assistance. The third stage will be an in-patient department for those who are not capable of functioning on their own due to their current state of depression or anxiety, but who are not a danger to themselves or others. The fourth stage will be for those individuals who need to be monitored because they are a suicide risk.

Unlike the existing methods, the Alive Centre cycle is designed so that patients can progress upward toward independence rather than slowly declining towards being institutionalized and never returning to a functional state.

To make our first center a reality we need to raise 86 million dollars. At this point, we have raised X and are always seeking donations and fundraising event opportunities. If you would like to get involved, please visit our donations or volunteer pages.

You can help us change the face of mental health, and help others learn to say #ImNotOk


Events

We will be posting details about our current fundraisers, upcoming sponsorship projects, and events here. We would love to see you at any (and all) of our events, so don’t be shy! If you’d like to help us put on one of our upcoming events instead, check out the volunteer page.

If you’re more of an orchestrator or would like to help Alive Crusade in a bigger way, we’re always eager to partner with individuals, organizations, businesses, or groups who are aligned with our goals and believe in our mission. If you have a novel idea for a fundraiser or you just know you’d like to work with us, please reach out! **Contact information here, or link to a contact page – whichever is relevant.**

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