Brave faces tell a story

Brave faces tell a story

When Robin Williams died, it shocked the world, but for me the issue of suicide hit home earlier this year when television personality Charlotte Dawson took her life.

I was incredibly saddened that this beautiful woman felt she could go on no longer. It was reported that her friends had grown tired of hearing about her woes and given up on trying to lift her out of depression.

They must now be haunted by the “what ifs” that may have changed her mind. What if they had tried harder to help, asked her more often if she was okay, told her she wasn’t alone. Would it have made a difference?

The Bay’s social workers’ answer is a loud YES, and they are encouraging all members of the community to unite for the Out of the Shadows and Into the Light walk on September 10 to raise awareness about suicide and remember those who have died.

It was a brave thing for the Deputy Mayor to talk publicly about his experience with depression in last week’s Indy and thankfully he did, because it is an example of how circumstances change, that corners can be turned and there is, as the old saying goes; “a light at the end of the tunnel”.

His “coming out of the shadows” should serve as encouragement to those battling depression every day.

While he may be just one prominent local identity speaking out, he is not alone. People battling depression are everywhere. With suicide being the leading cause of death for Australians under the age of 44, the Black Dog could be barking at the person right next to you.

It is hard to reach out, to help or be helped, but the Out of the Shadows walk is a great place to start. The walk at Pier Park, Urangan, organised by Hervey Bay’s support services could be life changing for some people. I urge you to join them.