Suicide touches so many people in so many different ways. My first experience with suicide happened when I was young, at university, and my study partner took his life. I attempted suicide not long after. I realised that I needed help, and approached my GP, who admitted me to a psychiatric hospital.
The hospital treatment wasn’t right for me, and a year later I attempted to take my own life again. I was fortunate to have alert friends who saved my life. After a few years struggling with depression and substance abuse issues, I went back to university.
I have now finished a couple of degrees and settled into a long term relationship. The sense of connection I have with my wife, family, friends and colleagues has helped to keep the negative thoughts from my mind.
My life has been touched by suicide in many ways. When I was living at college at university, on my recovery journey, a young person I knew took her life after bullying at the college. A close friend of mine recently took their life, leaving behind two teenage daughters and a partner.
My personal experiences with suicide motivated me to join the Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel. Every suicide is a tragedy. We need to know more and do more to reduce the tragedy for families and the community. My message to anyone is that you may feel that there is no-one and nothing for you, but there is always someone there – perhaps you just can’t see it right now.