Sabrina Josephine DiLembo
1998 ~ 2017
Sabrina was Michael and Lidia Di Lembo's youngest child and sister to Anthony and Joshua Di Lembo. Sabrina was only 19 years old when she died by suicide on 7 August 2017, after a short period of suffering from anxiety which progressed to depression.
“Since we lost Sabrina, we have been in a daze wondering what went wrong, how did this happen to our daughter and to us, looking for answers that will never be resolved. We want to try to help others and give hope that life is worth living, to have courage to trust and speak with family and friends to seek support and not be ashamed or feel like a burden. The immeasurable loss of Sabrina, the profound grief and the devastating impact on everyone who knew her is still being deeply felt. We know the pain will lessen over time but will never go away. We know many other families, particularly in the NT, have lost loved ones to suicide or continue to be impacted by those who suffer from mental illnesses and are at risk of suicide. We know we are not alone, and have committed to speak up and raise awareness by organizing events, which may help in a small way to not only encourage help seeking behaviors but make this issue everyone’s business. Our goal is to raise at least $100,000 for the Black Dog Institute. If funds raised exceed our target of $100,000, then we aim to establish a SJ DiLembo Memorial Scholarship to support a local young person enrolled at Charles Darwin University, and/or support a local organization or initiative dedicated to promote mental health and suicide prevention, we are very grateful for all family, friends and the community who have already generously donated to the Black Dog Institute” said Lidia.
“SabrinasRide4Life”~ Parents Michael and Lidia Di Lembo, family and friends of Sabrina Josephine Di Lembo are pleased to announce they will be organizing a series of events as part of “SabrinasRide4Life” which includes an NT Lottery supported by local Italian Social Welfare and Scholastic Association known as C.I.A.S.S, to commence on 28 March 2018, which will raise much needed funds for the Black Dog Institute and support a mammoth bike ride to commence in Adelaide on Monday 21 May and end in Darwin at Mindil Beach Markets on Sunday 24 June 2018.
“The ride is over 3000kms and will test all of us. But it is sure to be an incredible experience, celebrating Sabrina’s life and knowing we can help others, in a small way” Michael added.
A small group of cyclists will ride with a support team of family and friends, from Adelaide to Darwin – rounding out an approximate 3000km journey.
There will be time for a few rest days in between which will allow the SRide4L team the opportunity to speak in the local community to promote mental health, promote discussion, raise awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention.
The tragic loss of Sabrina Josephine Di Lembo on 7 August 2017 to suicide, is a stark reminder of how mental illness affects our community, but particularly the most vulnerable, that is adolescents. Sabrina did not hide her illness to her immediate family, sought medical help to try to understand what was going on, but did hide it from her friends and colleagues. She tried very hard to become, in her words “normal again” (whatever that means), and continue to be the considerate, family orientated, loving young lady and committed university student. However, this invisible illness that is still not fully understood by medical professionals and the community, somehow overtook this beautiful mind and did not enable her to ask for help at the most critical time, when she needed it the most.
“Why, we do not know! What we do know is that we do not want anyone to suffer in silence the way Sabrina did or for any other family to lose a loved one to suicide. We want everyone either directly or indirectly to have the confidence to seek help, to talk about it without the stigma that unfortunately still exists.This is why we are supporting the Black Dog Institute, who are pioneers in clinical and scientific research, diagnosis, early intervention, prevention and treatment of mental illness and are at the forefront of suicide prevention” said Lidia.
The Black Dog Institute,is an organization dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness. Their focus is about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and community education.
In 2018 SabrinasRide4Life (SR4L) completed the mammoth bike ride with four riders and support crew from Adelaide to Darwin and donated $100,000 to the Black Dog Institute to the Chairman of the Black Dog Institute, Peter Joseph, at a ceremony held in August, hosted at Parliament House by the Chief Minister of the NT, Michael Gunner.
In 2019 SR4L, with the financial contribution of CIASS also established a 3 year Scholarship in Sabrina's memory with Charles Darwin University. SR4L also established the first bereavement support group for those impacted by suicide loss, with the help of a NT Government grant. The Bereaved By Suicide Support Group NT continues to meet monthly on the 1st Wednesday.