My son Daniel died by suicide in 2014 whilst serving in the Australian Defence Force. Following his death, my mental health spiralled rapidly. I received a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Adjustment Disorder.
Since then, I have used my grief to advocate for, empower and inspire others. I have spoken out about my son’s death and my own journey with mental health. I completed a Masters in Suicidology and am in my final year of a PhD exploring veterans’ mental health. I want to use my experience and research to help others.
One message of courage I would share to support others is that yes, it is really hard to reach out sometimes, but it’s okay to fall down from time to time. After all, life is about falling down – living is the getting back up. You are not alone.
I joined the Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel to learn, educate and support others where I can. The faster we can spread the message and reduce stigma; the sooner we can reduce suicide.