Leading up to White Wreath Day – In Remembrance of All Victims of Suicide May 29 this year White Wreath was very busy following a shocking murder on the Gold Coast by a mentally ill man. I featured in the Gold Coast Bulletin (see further along in newsletter) and also on Channel Nine News. The Issues of effective front line assessment and the fact that the only safe place people can go to now when they need a medium or long term bed is the prison system, were all canvassed.
The important issue that when people are suicidal, self harming, violent and homicidal they need immediate admission for their safety and the safety of the public. At the moment these people are turned away with the throw away title of Personality Disordered, therefore not mentally ill.
The psychiatric professions are still chanting the 1983 mantra, “The mentally ill are not dangerous”…. “We can’t predict dangerousness”. This is factually incorrect. The hard scientific evidence is that a significant number of severely mentally ill people are neurologically programmed to kill themselves and others. This is why we are demanding that anyone who turns up for assessment anywhere in the system, mental health, general health, criminal justice, social welfare, family court must have a neurological assessment. We thank the Gold Coast Bulletin and Channel Nine for covering issues which frequently media, politicians, administrator’s right down to doctors and nurses avoid discussing.
- Australian Air Express – Tanya Rouault Business Development Manager Banyo Qld
- National Storage – Benny Lim Manager Springwood Qld
- Clayton UTZ Lawyers
- Zupps Hillcrest-Roger Farrell
- Kennard’s Hire-Wayne McJarrow
- Peter Neame Qld
- Lucy Lyons NSW
- Qld Police Pipes and Drums Band
- Cr Geraldine Knapp
- Superintendent Paul Lostroh – Disaster & Major Events Planning Branch
- Lieutenant Colonel Matt Clarke, the Principal Staff Officer Personnel of Headquarters 1st Division
- Reverend Ray Herrmann – St Andrews Uniting Church.
SPECIAL THANK YOU
- Robyn May – Crestmead Glass Pty Ltd Qld for your very kind monetary support at a time that was very much needed and appreciated also your kind donation of a few items on our Wish List that also helped us enourmously
- Donna & Rick de Nooyer – Santas Work Shop Designs for believing in us and choosing our organisation as beneficiary of donations received.
To all members and readers. Our “Guestbook” entries are all true accounts and many leave their email contacts. If you have time please read over entries and by all means correspond.
13 January 2008, Mt Gambier South Australia
My brother killed himself on the 5th of December 2007. My family and I are still at the beginning it seems of what will be a long road to forgiveness, healing and acceptance. This is what I read at my brother’s funeral. It is only part of a story that right now I can’t even manage the words for. I used to have such a good handle on words, I could use them to explain everything, every situation, thought, feeling. Now it seems I have lost my words. I want them back again, but not at the price of the pain and anguish I feel right now. Adrian was my brother, we disagreed, passionately, on pretty much everything. Adrian was my hero and my nemesis, we fought, we made up, we ignored, we poked each other, pulled faces, teased, we dobbed on and protected each other and he dropped me on my head in high school. When I was a kid maybe 6 or 7, possibly younger, I had these hideous green knitted gloves, but I loved them. I could never beat Adrian in a fight, but when I wore these gloves, I was invincible. I could beat Adrian with one hand behind my back because I had my power gloves on. It took me years to realise that I never did beat Adrian because of those stupid gloves. I didn’t win because I was stronger, or because I was better. I only won because my big brother let me. I won’t hear him call me sissy again; I won’t hear him tell some poor guy who had the misfortune to talk to me “What are you doing? That’s my sister!” My children will never really know their Uncle. I always thought we had time, and now I realise that time is fleeting. My heart is broken, for all of us who are left behind, for lost chances, for memories undone. I can only wish now that Adrian could see how many people loved him. Adrian was my brother and I loved him. Today, just like yesterday, Just as it will tomorrow the sun came up. I don’t want it to; I want it to be dark Black like the way I feel inside I want to cry and rage against the fates Against an unknown stranger Against anyone, everyone Myself, You. I want someone to take this back Tell me it’s a mistake A horrible joke Anything but this aching pain I feel right now This emptiness This guilt This little sister crying for her lost brother I want to hate you Or love you But all I feel is numb Shaken to my very core
6 February 2008, Brisbane Qld
My son was shot dead by the police oct 24, 2003. He had a mental illness, and like many others who needed help, was turned away by logan mental health, Its so sad these people want help, and when they do go they are told there is no beds, give them pills and cya later. Mental Health are just collar, ties and fat pay cheques.
8 February 2008, Victoria
What a way to start 2008. Tomorrow will be a month when my boyfriend committed suicide. It’s so hard, every day I think of him and all I want is for him to walk through that door again and things to be the way they were. Life is no one huge battle, even getting out of bed and coping is so hard. Although I have some many people there for me I feel so alone, I’ve lost my soul mate and partner. The pain is so unbearable I just want to disappear. I’m sick of hearing it will get easier, as far as I see it’s getting worse. I never thought it would be me to go through this and I hate the world for putting me through so much pain. My boyfriend John Philip Best was on 20, he was a beautiful person who did have some “demons” to deal with but I really thought he would get through it…I was there for him and supported him through everything, his family didn’t care, no one really knew that dark side of him as he was hiding it from everyone. I still don’t know why he did it and I guess I will never know until we meet again. Life sucks, too many close people to me have died and I’m sick of it. Maybe one day I will be truly happy but for now I feel dead inside. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that so many other people have experienced this terrible thing they called Suicide. I hope I can get in contact with someone who has been through this. I’m just so lost. I will love my Angel John forever, one day we will meet again and life will be normal. I will never forget you. I miss you terrible and it hurts so much inside. Watch over me. John Best 1987 – 2008
11 February 2008, NSW
It has been six months since my son Daniel suicided. These six months have been the longest yet the fastest that I have ever experienced. When my son did this I was devastated. The thoughts in my head told me at the time that I would not get through this, then I began to think about the people who are still here, my other kids, my aging father, my husband, friends, beautiful grandkids, my family and of course myself. We need to continue on, nothing stops because someone we love decides to leave. I will miss Daniel and love Daniel for the rest of my life. He is in my heart and my thoughts every single day.
14 February 2008, NSW
Hey, don’t know why I am doing this, have looked at this site 3 times since 6/3/05 when my husband of 31 yrs suicided. Yep coming up 3 yrs, and I still can’t get on with “MY LIFE” go on living without him. When does it get better. Had another meltdown last night. Will they stop? NOOOO. Not while we have two children and 4 grandsons still. Does he care that our oldest grandson started 1st class. Guess what? You’re cool if you eat your apple core. Does he care that our second grandson started school and he wasn’t with me that morning watching him go to big school. Does he care that our daughter’s marriage has ended, because of what she was going through. Does he care that our son, started that business, gave up so much for a second time in our life. To put him through Uni to do.. And is half way to where he wanted to be, and is only 32 yrs old. And I thought the biggest challenge in life was when we found out we were pregnant at 16 yrs old,, Boy was I wrong…That was easy compared to this. Looking after a baby so young was a breeze. Waking up and breathing everyday without my husband, my best friend, the love of my life from when I was 14 yrs old, is so much harder. But I will tomorrow and everyday after, because I know what doing it, is like for the ones you leave behind ABSOLUTLY DEVASTING.
5 March 2008 Broken Hill, NSW
My name is K, 8 years ago I found my “Soulmate” hanging in the back shed, although I have since “moved on” now married, two girls (one was his) that day will haunt me forever. I never had the opportunity to talk to others in the same situation so if there is any one reading this that needs to talk feel free to email me….
16 March 2008 Florida USA
My brother John committed suicide on February 27, 2008. He was the 4th of 7 children. He was always the glue that maintained the close bond between us all. His laugh, amazing personality and ability to help everyone in need without complaint is what made him the amazing person he was and will always be in our hearts. He spent his entire life focusing on the needs of others. He had an injury quite severe in his shoulder/neck area around 2003-2004 and after 3 failed surgeries he was prescribed high doses of Methadone to control his pain which never went away until he took his shotgun and put it to his chest. He tried to go off of the methadone on his own as he had always been so successful at self control in the past but this was different aside from the physical pain he endured his mental state became depressed and paranoid. He felt worthless that he could no longer enjoy the active life he had always led and he could no longer work. He provided for his wife of 23years and his son from day one until he couldn’t anymore. He felt worthless. His beautiful smile was hidden behind such sadness but he promised all of us not to worry he would never harm himself! He is gone forever physically but he remains so strong inside our hearts and minds. I still can’t believe I will not hear his laugh again or have him try to figure out life for me. I am his baby sister and I have decided not to be angry with him over his departure, I will be eternally sad and miss him but he wasn’t living the last few years and I believe now he is finally resting in the peace he so deserved. Thank You for reading. God bless all who have had a tragic loss by suicide and bring peace to those who have thought about it. There is help out there.
5 April 2008, California USA
My name is D.H. On November 16th 2006 my father hanged himself. I was 17. I think about dad every single day of my life. On February 14th 2008 my boyfriend grandpa shot himself behind a Kmart. I cry for him a lot because I sort of know what he is going through. If there is anyone out there who can help us please let me know…
PETER NEAME RESEARCH OFFICER
Re- Christchurch Press article 5th February2008 included in this issue titled:-
“Mental Health System Letting Woman Down”
This example goes to the heart of what is currently wrong in the Mental Health System, Criminal Justice System and Social Welfare/Family Services.
Parents/Family try to get help but the approach is ignored until there is serious incident or loss of life.
Dangerous people that is people who are Suicidal, Homicidal or Violent should be admitted early and assessed over time. Trying to manage dangerous people in the community, “Recovery them”/”Community caring them” in the community puts everyone at risk.
Peter Neame is Research and Publication Officer for White Wreath Action against Suicide and author of “Suicide and Mental Health in Australia and New Zealand”.
GOLD COAST BULLETIN 5 APRIL 2008
Mental health checks ‘a joke’
05 April 2008
MENTAL health patients receive better treatment in prison than through Queensland’s mental health system, according to vocal campaigner Fanita Clark.
Ms Clark, who founded the organisation White Wreath after her son committed suicide, yesterday described mental health assessment in Queensland as a ‘joke’ and ‘farce’ because too many people with warning signs were slipping through the system.
She called for a dramatic change in process so patients were assessed neurologically rather than verbally and she wants the return of asylums.
“A proper psychological assessment should take two hours but they do it in five minutes by using tick sheets,” said Ms Clark.
“It’s a farce, a joke, and we’re losing thousands of our own men, women and children because of suicides and murders directly attributable to mental health.”
Ms Clark’s comments end a week of sustained criticism of the mental health system following the murder of Southport resident Carmel Wuth, 77, allegedly by a mentally ill man.
Maurizo Perini, 36, is undergoing a mental health assessment.
Ms Clark said she often consoled friends and family of mentally ill people facing jail that their loved ones would be better looked after behind bars.
“When I’m trying to calm families I explain that their loved one will get the best possible care in jail,” she said.
“They will get the best possible medical attention, more than they would ever get on the outside.”
Ms Clark said what was needed was a return to asylums, which she said meant ‘place of safety’, where people with mental illness recovered safely before returning to the community.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the department did not support building asylums but instead advocated community-based rehabilitation.
Belinda’s Journal Continued
It’s Saturday today, am feeling quite alone. Due to the ‘unruly’ behaviour of some members of our ‘community’ our Saturday outing have been cancelled so the picnic which had been planned for today has been replaced by spare time to sit around and do whatever springs to mind. Have been allowed to get my Patricia Cornwall book ‘Port of Origin’ out of the storage room (rare privilege indeed) and filled in a bit of time engrossed in its pages. Just watched an excellent video based on the true story of the life of a man called Bill Wilson, the man who created Alcoholics Anonymous . Very moving and has opened my eyes wider to the problem of addiction in the world. I’ve realised some things which never occurred to me before, including the fact that if a man, so driven by the need to drink alcohol for such a large part of his life, can recover @ remain sober then why shouldn’t I be able to do the same. This gives me hope. I also realised that the N/A meetings I have been going to are probably more important in my recovery than I thought. There’s something about 2 or more addicts (or drunks, whatever the case may be) getting together @ sharing their experiences etc that is so valuable @ almost unexplainably vital for recovery. They have been reducing my anti-psychotic medication @ have discussed the possibility of not allowing me to go off premises for A/A @ N/A meetings, (both of which are very similar), for this reason, I hope like hell that they don’t remove this privilege from me, especially now that I’ve realised that they are probably the key to staying clean.
It’s also visiting hours at the moment @ while almost everyone has some-one to be with or something to do I’m still waiting on a return phone call from Steve (since 1330 hrs). He is supposed to be going to Liam and Tina’s wedding with me tomorrow. I’m not going to hold my breath that he shows up. Not too reliable this boy. He told me on the phone the other night that he used on Wednesday @ I was very disappointed but told him that it was ok but that he’d just have to start again. Don’t think he’ll be able to stay clean which makes me really sad. I feel very guilty about giving him his first shot even though I know he would probably have got one somewhere else if it hadn’t been from me. Can see him losing control @ am powerless to do much about it except lend support whenever I can. Hope he will be able to beat his addiction otherwise I can see no future in us being together, another reason to thank the ‘power greater than ourselves’ (my preferred term for God – another one is GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION – heard that at an N/A meeting someplace), that I’m not pregnant. I just can’t be clean @ sober @ be in a relationship with someone who’s not. Usually feeling someone I care about slipping away from me would make me really upset, but while I am sad, this time it’s different. I feel as though I’m doing all of this for me this time. I know other people will benefit from it, like my family, but since I really got into this program I have been able to put myself first which I’ve never done before. It’s a very empowering thing. I know now that I’m worth the struggle @ if you can’t do it for yourself then who can you do it for. I’ve heard this saying before @ gone yeah, yeah whatever but at the moment it’s really hitting home. Wow, big entry today, am feeling inspired again like when I used to have a hit @ write pages @ pages. Hope it keeps up. Was one of the things I worried (@ still worry) about when I try/tried to give up speed, that my creativity would disappear. Well, I’m totally straight at the moment # the old flow of the grey matter is going again. Cross my fingers @ toes that it doesn’t disappear. By the way no more voices today, days without these interruptions must be stacking up too!
TO BE CONTINUED……
WHITE WREATH ASSOCIATION SAFEHAVEN CENTRE/S
The closure of mental health beds, staff shortages and the lack of on-going treatment have meant that community, family and care givers are required to deal with the mentally ill and suicidal persons. We believe that suicide/mental illness is a life threatening condition and is the only illness in society where people are routinely refused hospital admission or treated on a short-term basis. Hence the need for our Safehaven Centres. The White Wreath Association Ltd (WWA) is committed to bridging the gap between the suicidal/mentally ill, their family/care givers and their treatment which will be accomplished through our Safehaven Centres
What will the Safehavens look like?
Our ultimate aim is to establish a number of these Centres throughout Australia, our programs will be designed to actively treat the underlying illness that leads to mental illness/suicidal behaviour with follow up treatment once the patient is deemed ‘in recovery’. Safehavens will be staffed with appropriate clinical personnel and provide a place of safety to the suicidal/mentally ill and their families/carer’s.
Our Safehaven/s will offer programs for the entire family structure affected by the illness which may include but not be limited to:
- Full 90 day treatment inpatient program
- 30 – 60 day inpatient program (including follow-up treatment)
- 8 week outpatient program (including follow-up treatment) this program will allow patients to continue to reside at home and work in the local community while they are being treated
- 2-3 day outpatient assessment with recommendations and treatment advice
- 3 – 5 day program (all family members/carer’s) offering information and education about suicide/mental illness and to assist family in identifying issues they may have
- 2 day children program (ages 3-12) This is for children who have family members that are suicidal/mentally ill and will offer ways for children to positively cope with the challenges they face, it will include information about suicide/mental illness through age appropriate activities
- (Families to be included and involved in all aspects of patient treatment/care)
Rehabilitation/news skills programs
Rehabilitation programs will be set up where patients can learn new skills which will be staffed by qualified teachers. These may include:
- Computer skills
- Front Office and reception
New skills programs will be optional should the patient wish to participate once they have met certain criteria through their treatment.
- Alternative therapies
- Tai Chi
These are again optional for patients to participate in.
Why our own centres?
We have identified since our inception that front line assessment is breaking down.
Serious suicidal/mentally ill people are being refused admission, poorly assessed and discharged inappropriately. People who are at risk to themselves and/or a risk to others need immediate admission.
Our Safehaven/s will encompass our own designed programs and assessments which include a full psychological/neurological examination not just a mental health assessment. Our Safehaven/s will be there to treat both patients on an on-going basis as well as providing the support network the family/carer’s require.
Many suicidal/mentally ill persons are very ambivalent about what is said when being assessed. The programs will be designed to include a family member/care giver in the patient’s treatment. Our own research indicates that when suicidal/mentally ill patients are being assessed they do not necessarily give full or reliable information.
Our programs and assessments will be utilised to ensure our medical staff are capturing all the information needed to treat the patient effectively.
The information provided is only a guide of what the WWA Safehaven/s will encompass. Our ultimate aim is to have a number of fully staffed Safehavens throughout Australia. However to achieve this huge project we not only need the funds but the support of the community to establish these Centres.
Sock-it-to-Suicide has given us the opportunity to promote our organisation, our aims and what we stand for “Action Against Suicide’. With this we hope to bring about a change in the treatment of the suicidal/mentally ill.
WHITE WREATH ASSOCIATION SAFEHAVENS ARE UNDERWAY WE HAVE PROPOSED THE BELOW MANY TIMES FEDERALLY AND AT ALL STATE LEVELS THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA:-
Education and Advice, Consultancy and Practical Information to Professionals and Others working at the front line
The breakdown as we see it is that families/loved ones/carers do in fact identify risk of suicide early. In our opinion between 60-80% of people who are at risk of suicide have been identified as being at risk by parents/loved ones/carers.
This is where we would seek to make a change and this is where reduction in suicide can be achieved.
There are many strategies that can be used but the most important thing is that when risk is identified it must be taken seriously. This typically means the individual at risk would be actively followed up and our preference would be actual admission and assessment in hospital.
Threat of suicide is a threat to life.
We would hope that larger organisations such as hospitals (both public and private), universities, teaching and training facilities would include our group as a basic part of their curriculum in teaching and training of suicide prevention. This has obvious cost implications which would need to be negotiated with each organisation. It is vitally important for people affected by suicide to be involved and have an input into the training of all those who seek to give help. This needs to be recognised at Federal and State levels.
There is currently a large gap between what professionals are taught and what really happens. Just by improving this area would increase public appreciation/understanding of suicide/mental illness.
DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE
Stamps, Copy Paper, DL Envelopes, Volunteers Aust/Wide
OR YOU MAY LIKE TO DONATE
- Via our credit card facility posted on our Website www.whitewreath.com then follow the instructions.
- Directly/Direct Transfer into any Westpac Bank:
Account Name White Wreath Association Ltd
BSB No: 034-109
Account No: 210509
- 3. Cheque/Money Order to White Wreath Association Ltd
PO Box 1078 , Browns Plains Qld 4118
WE ARE NOW TAX DEDUCTIBLE
The White Wreath Association, have been given permission by Cameron’s sister to publish his diaries.
Monday May 8
Spoke to Bernie will be seeing him on Wednesday at 11am. Got to ring pet shops about bird for Mitchell. I was going to go to T’ville with mum and Noell. But decided against it. I might go and see Bro Kelly, maybe about character reference. Got to get in touch with Mark Stevens about reference? Bruce rang. He will be here tomorrow at about 1.30pm. Just got my DVD player from Nick. What a guy!
Tuesday May 9
Go to Centrelink. Go to probo’s at Court House! I’ve had just about all I can take! I am really totally stressed about anything and everything that comes into my head. I have no positives to grasp onto. Everything that comes into my head is totally negative! I am still being punished severely for everything I have done bad or wrong. Bruce coming over. There is nothing happy or positive to grasp onto. I don’t know how long I can take this any more. I think it’s just going to be a matter of time before something gives or snaps either way. I don’t see any possible way out of this, it is there every day! Whatever happens I am going to be the bastard either way. I cannot take much more of this shit!
Wednesday May 10
Got Mitchell’s card for birthday! Bernie coming over. Bernie came over. Had a good talk with him. He is coming over again next Wednesday to make up a programme for me. Rang solicitor about appointment. And also filled out review form for Centrelink and took it in. And also did shopping and got hair cut and went for walk with mum. Ate too much bread. It bloats me and gives me indigestion.
TO BE CONTINUED…….
1. NATIONAL WHITE WREATH DAY
- In rememberance of all of Suicide 29 May 2008
- Main display to be held in Post Office Square Brisbane Qld.
- Display can be viewed all day with Commemoration Service commencing at 12.30pm to 1:30pm
Up to date information will be posted on our website www.whitewreath.com under “Coming Events” listing all other Commemoration/Remembrance Services held across Australia. Suicide/mental illness affects all walks of life, all cultures and all ages regardless of whether we are rich, famous or poor. All are welcomed to attend and lay a Photograph, Flowers, Poem etc and be part of a commemoration service that for most is the first time that they are able to freely admit the loss of a loved one, friend, work colleague etc that have taken their lives by these tragic means.
2. “SOCK IT TO SUICIDE”
- During the First Week of October, yearly
- Holding the event involves workplaces, schools, social clubs, senior citizen clubs etc to wear (self supplied) coloured socks or stockings during one day of the week, and making a donation of a gold coin for the privilege.
- We would greatly appreciate your support with this endeavour and hope it is a fun day for all.
I am from the UK and I do a lot of my own personal fundraising. Now I want to help others. If you would like your cause on my site then please send me the details and I will put it on immediately
My friend is threatening suicide. She is at a real low point in her life and she was about to do it when I signed in on msn and talked to her. She says she is okay now but I don’t want to take any chances because I know the feeling won’t last for her. So if you could please talk to her I would greatly appreciate it. Her mobile number is …Her name is C and she is my best friend. Please help help her.
Footnote:- We take these matters very seriously. Our advice was to call the Ambulance immediately or we can do this on her behalf.
Dear Ms Clark
I hope you can help me. I noted with great interest the item on the news the other evening concerning the naked young man wandering the street in Surfers Paradise and the comment you made concerning the Qld Mental Health System.
I am a 46 year old woman who developed mental illness at 40 years of age. To escape the loss of my job of 26 years (due to mental illness) and the stigma of a mental illness, my family moved from Adelaide to Queensland about 3 years ago. Since this time I have held many jobs and am now again on large amounts of medication. I am trying to change my life and am now in my second year of university. This has its moments but I try to stay positive.
Last year I tried to get some change happening within Queensland Health. I am absolutely appalled with the system and that it does nothing to help those who need it. I have been shunned because I dare speak out. My local member, John Michel nor the Health Minister seemed very interested. My health deteriorates quickly and at times I have not known where to go as nobody wants to help you. My own GP has said to me she cannot help me. I am fortunate that my husband and children are there to watch over me.
I would like to know what can be done to change things. I have tried but failed. The responses I received were so superficial and pathetic. You were spot on with your comments about the inadequacy of Qld Health. It is a system in desperate need of a revamp. If you have some time, I would appreciate a call from you if you consider it appropriate.
Thank you so very much for your kind words – they are greatly appreciated.
I’m so very sorry to hear of your devastating news about the fire – I struggle sometimes to find the meaning in these types of tragedies … but I am sure that you will overcome and continue to be the rock that you are to the thousands of survivors of suicide such as myself …..
Let me say that I logged onto your website yesterday and read some of the personal stories – believe me when I say that after reading some of them I think I now have an understanding as to why my brother David did what he did to himself…. reading those stories made me feel less alone and confused about why this has happened to our family…. I realise now that to take one’s own life one must be so very very lost in themselves and in some cases struggling from wounds inflicted by the hands of another – which was the case with our David … he was sexually abused at 6 and then pack-raped by 5 of the mongrels in a toilet at Marist Brothers High School when he was 11… The dye was cast for him from then on and to his credit he lasted 48 years – he was a homosexual, he was drug addicted, he was an alcoholic, he was bi-polar and he had been living with HIV for the last 10 years… I don’t know how he managed to last as long as he did….and I will always admire him for his strength in bearing the crosses that he had to bear……
I shall definitely attend the memorial services on 29 May 2008.
Thank you so much Fanita
Blessings to you and yours…..
Dear Fanita Clark.
My name is M…… I am 26 years old. I need your Help. I think many times of suicide.
I live 5 years in fear. I can no longer endure. Very terrible things happen to me in this environment that ruined my life. This environment is not a normal life. I have feelings, I can commit suicide. No one wants to help me. I can trust no one. Even my parents feel overwhelmed because of me. I come from Deurschland. I speak only German.
Fanita Clark, please help me.
Dear Ms Clarke/administration,
I was blessed enough today to see your commemoration (sorry I have trouble spelling) today in the city below where I work. I wish to give a truly heartfelt thank you for this organisation.
The ceremony reminded me of my own personal struggles I faced in the past and the issue of suicide especially youth suicide is very close to my heart. I went through the struggles when I was 13-14 to the point I had to go to counselling for a long period. The idea of suicide was a foreign concept especially to my parents so when they found out they flipped because there was nothing obviously wrong in my life to make me feel this way. (The only reason they found out was the school nurse told them- without me knowing).
Building myself was very hard long process, and the thing with people going through such sadness is often hidden from the world, in school I was always bright and cheerful and little did anyone know. I am now 20 years of age with my current joyous attitude to life no-one would have ever thought I had been through such a sad time in my life (which is the way I like to keep it). I believe the best way to support a person going through such thoughts is to let them know that you will always be there and that they are special and never alone. The footprints poem really helped me. I was living day by the day the only thing that got me through my love for my younger siblings and day by day I would live just so they can see me again.
Suicide is such a tragic way to lose someone, raising awareness is very important and I am so happy and grateful to see such a beautiful organisation.
So today I say thank you
Hello…. This morning, I just heard about White Wreath Day, on ABC radio…. this is such a wonderful thing to do, and I can only thank you for giving so many people the opportunity of expressing their innermost feelings on a special day, in such a lovely way.
Attached is a photo of a little white plastic wreath that I have made this morning… I will tie it to my handbag today… for my Cousin H…., who hanged himself… (he was a successful businessman in his late 50’s)
I was going to cut the wreath from white card, but as it is a damp morning, decided to use plastic (the bottom of a yoghurt container actually)… as I will be out in the weather a fair bit today.
Just thought I’d like to share it with you… and thanks again…
Best wishes.. T S
To White Wreath Association
About three and a half years ago I was in R… Mental Health Hospital for 6 weeks. During that period I never saw a Psychiatrist or a Case Worker. I found the Staff as slack. All they did was sit down and talk. I had to beg for medication if I was needing help. They weren’t compassionate or caring. To them it was just a job. I found some patients more caring.
Approximately 40 years ago I was admitted to Ward 16 RBH and the care back then was very good compared to today. There were no Case Workers the but the help from hospital staff whilst a patient was on “The Ball” and they discharged when I was well enough.
Since then I have spent time in P.A and going on that experience up until now things have just got worse. My GP has been more help than the system. I was a well paid hard working Sales Representative up until 1993.
I just wanted to say thank you for letting me be a part of White Wreath Day. I think you are an amazing lady, full of courage, as well as everyone in the association that brings the day together.
10 April 2008, Brisbane Qld
His name it meant beloved His heart filled with love and grace For those who chose not to hurt him You could see the true David in his face…. Cherished son and brother He walked a path of quiet refrain Life dealt him many savage blows As he battled each and every pain… Brave beyond redemption Lesser men than he would have failed To stand and fight those demons That plagued him on lifes trail… Music soothed the savage beast That lurked within his frame The balm of beat and melody Would calm him once again… His hands were always open As he reached out for love anew His heart was truly hopeful For one both warm and true… He has left his mark upon us More than any word can say The man he was beloved And will be till my dying day… R.I.P David
14 April 2008, Melbourne
Pauline that was beautiful, very touching. The last few months and as the months go on and on I feel more and more abandoned, all those people who said they would be there and support me are now avoiding me like the plague. They don’t talk to me let alone see me, I have true friends who support me and will be there and are there when I need them the most. Is it really that hard to communicate with someone who has lost someone? Do they shut up for fear of upsetting you when deep down inside you are more upset but the way they don’t talk to you or even see you? Do you just be rude and inconsiderate back to them? The human can be a strange creature at times…why are we abandoned?
2 May 2008 Qld
Hi Mathew, it has been nearly 6 yrs since the day I found you hanging, If you can see me I hope you aren’t disappointed that I haven’t been able to let go. I wish people, especially those suppose to be close to me would understand my pain, their pain. Just because I found you doesn’t make it easier for everyone, but the nightmare are with me every night STILL!!!You were my baby brother and I am trying to understand why you did what you did, been through the angry, hurt, confused, upset, etc if you can see you will see how beautiful your three children have grown. Well just a few words as I can’t stop thinking of you, your loving sister, Christie
11 May 2008, Wauchope
NSW BORN~DANIEL* who suicided August 2007. I would just like to send my best regards to all the Mums who have lost a loved one through suicide. Mums are the ultimate and deserve this day. So I hope that even with the sadness and heartache of your loss that every single MUM made the best of the day.
13 May 2008, Perth WA
Shaun Happy Anniversary we would have been married three years today. The time has gone fast, the memories they last, the feelings I have are real. The look in your eyes, when you accepted me as your wife I thought was ever lasting. 5 months later you took yourself away. I’ll never forget this special day, please come take this horrible pain away. Your loving wife Natalie xxxx
21 May 2008, Logan Qld
On the 5th of August 2005, I was in grade 11, I had a close friend of mine hang herself. She had many friends and none of us new why, she didn’t leave a note or anything. We all blamed ourselves because that Friday she had tried to reach out to us all and none of us realised. I just wish I could see her face again. Soon after she passed I had written a poem about her passing. This is it: Now that your gone, I have to say, “I was once your friend, And I think of you everyday” Everyone says the same We believe it in our heart, It’s too early in life to lose a friend, For us to be apart. But we can’t change the past, And what’s been done, We never told you how much you mean, And now you’re gone. That day we let you go, I remember so clearly, I was trying to be brave, But I saw your mum getting teary. Your friends love you so much, Yet we never told you, We go through everyday, Without knowing what to do. Josh and Steve were crying, Michael actually did his hair, Volca and Eli had their head in hands, I don’t think they could bear. No one leaves anymore, Without saying “I love you” Now we’ve seen what could happen, That’s all we ever do. Your passing has shown us, How much we really love each other, We can’t let it happen again, For one another. Tam, The days are so long, Everyone sits and wonders, What they did wrong. I know it wasn’t just us, There was more going on, No matter what we think, There was nothing we could have done. Adam made a speech, He loved you so very much, All he thinks about, Is that last lunch. You were crying to Megan On that last day, She didn’t know how to help, Now all she can do is pray. Caitlin and I saw you, A few hours before, All those cords and machines, We cried before we got in the door. We can still talk of you, But, Tam it’s not enough, All we want, Is just one more touch. I hate you not being here, I feel I’m obsessed, But I guess moving on, Is only for the best. It is titled ‘To You’ RIP Tam, I love you.
27 May 2008, Seattle WA
This is a great site very touching.
27 May 2008, Brisbane Qld
It is just 7 months since our son died. We found him his father and I in his unit. He was my baby our only son and to this day I do not understand why. Perhaps it would be easier if I could get an answer to that question – perhaps not. My heart broke on the 3 Oct 2007 and I just don’t know how to put it back together again. We miss him so much every day. Words just don’t express the feelings .. some days are better than others … I am told it will get bearable .. when … I just so want him back!!
27 May, Brisbane Qld
I have been suffering from depression for the last 10 years, have tried to end it 3 times, found always by my husband. I totally understand the views on confidentiality, my husband has sort answers for me and has always hit a brick wall. The laws need to be changed so that the people we love the most, can and will get the help and love they need. Depression is a very lonely state of mind. I have told my entire family of this “illness” and have discovered that 2 of my siblings also suffer the same problems. We should feel embarrassed or stupid about telling people how we feel. I used to be SO ashamed of this illness but realise that it is just that, an illness that can be fixed. I really need to believe that, not only for my own wellbeing but also for my children’s.
27 May, Melbourne Vic
White wreath day unites all of us in our memories of our loved ones who chose to leave us and go to another state and time. My father Robert hung himself at 69 years of age on the 7th May 2003. We all loved him unconditionally and now accept his choice and believe that he still loves us to infinity xxx->00. He was my mentor, my friend, my leader, my Daddy and I miss him very deeply still each day. I miss our wonderful long talks about changing the world. Our arguments where he was always right. His twinkly dark brown eyes and his unconditional love for me and my two daughters. His grandchildren who he loved so deeply. May he still be teaching – his passion– his life – was to teach people esp. young people to learn. Yesterday history Tomorrow is a Mystery Today is the present So treat it like a GIFT and live for each moment! anon.
1 June 2008, Qld
Our youngest daughter Vanessa took her own life on July the 16th 2007. Four days before she committed suicide she had turned 18. She seemed so happy and excited about turning 18. So what happened? she had many ups and downs the last couple of years. One minute she would be bouncing around all happy and the next minute she just wanted to be left alone. We thought she was just being a normal teenager. It wasn’t until 5 months after she passed away that we found out that she had bipolar. There are many questions that we ask ourselves, and we don’t find any answers. I don’t think her father and I will ever get over finding her the way that we did ( she had hung herself). Our three other daughters and all dealing with her death in different ways. One thing we all want to know is when will the pain stop. We have always told each other that we love each other but that didn’t seem to be enough to help Vanessa deal with her demons. We just wish that we had known what she was dealing with in her thoughts. Could we have helped her if we knew what was going on, we will never know, but we will always wonder. Will the pain ever go away of losing someone our youngest daughter/sister, I don’t think so. Vanessa you will be forever in our hearts and minds. We love you and miss you. We hope that you have found the peace you were looking for. LOVE ALWAYS MUM XOXO. I MISS YOU BLOSSOM.
2 June 2008, Unknown
Thinking of my son, Robert who took his own life four years ago today. I miss u heaps mate. Love always, Mum.
23 June 2006, Texas USA
I’m glad I have found people I can share with my grief, of losing a friend who took her own life.
24 June 2008, Ipswich Qld
Hi I found my brother hanging in my back shed in October last year, and I feel like I am falling apart. Even though I have a great support network I would like to speak with people who have been touched by a tragedy like this. Please help.
24 June 2008, Adelaide South Australia
My younger brother Trevor hanged himself on the 16.11.07 he was only 25. He has a 10 year old daughter, a 7 year old son and a one year old son we all love him and miss him everyday. The hardest thing is he told everyone he would never kill himself as we just lost a very close cousin of ours to a tragic accident on 9.11.06. My cousin had two kids and was only 26. My brother told us he would never want to put his kids through what my cousin did. But my baby brother went and did it anyway I’ll always love you Trevor. I know I didn’t say it enough but I hope you know how much I did love you. Your little big sis kylie