A short few weeks ago I was sitting in an open public area. Beside me was a group of people and one of them was telling the rest of his friends in a very loud voice how his son died from a malignant melanoma. He described in detail how the cancer consumed his son until the tragic end. Upon leaving I said to the man that I am very sorry that you lost your son as I did also. He then said to me how did your son die. I said he put himself in front of a train. The man then said to me “Oh that’s different”. I then said yes it is different. Your son died from a life threatening condition and would have received the best possible medical treatment. You had time to care and show your love for him. Family, friends and strangers attitude towards your loss is that they are sympathetic, understanding, compassionate and part of the healing process is talk about the tragedy as you are doing right now. I said those that take their life is sudden like what my son did. We had no time to express our love and there is no caring, compassion or understanding. People like me can’t talk about the suicide of their loved ones like you are let alone describe in detail of how they tragically died. Those that take their lives also died from a life threatening illness but sadly it is not recognised in the same way.
This brings me to a mother from country Victoria who rang regarding her 17 year old daughter that she thought may take her life. The daughter has two previous unsuccessful attempts on her life. I said to the mother that the Primary focus of our organisation since inception is to build Safehaven Centres for those when suicide threatens however they are still not up and running so therefore we advocate for all Australians assisting them to receive immediate help/treatment through the hospital system and we will do our utmost with your written permission to assist you and your daughter. The mother said I don’t want my daughter in an institution. I explained in Australia we do not have institutions. Infact we have no medium or long term beds and most that attempt suicide if they are lucky may stay in hospital for a day or so but many are routinely refused hospital admission even after an attempted suicide. I explained that her daughter had a life threatening condition and she required proper medical treatment. I said to the mother if your daughter had a heart attack, stroke, cancer etc where would you want your daughter to be. She answered the hospital. I then said to her that there is no difference with the illness your daughter has. She requires immediate medical help/treatment. We know the mother will do her best but sadly she will cope alone, in silence and the best way she can.
A very distraught wife/mother rang and told us her husband of ten years very recently hanged himself aged thirty-two. He approached the Emergency of a Mental Health Unit trying to get help on three occasions and on three occasions was refused admission and told to go home. He left behind a wife and four very young children aged 2, 3, 5 and 8 years of age. The wife/mother is devastated and in a shocking mess but somehow she has to cope for the sake of her children without support, compassion or understanding.
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 Australia5 July 2008 South Australia My father shot himself 16 days ago, aged 63. I am really struggling, and I am so glad this site is available, just to read others’ accounts, and know I’m not alone, it helps a little. Do you ever get past the ‘whys’?
6 November 2008 South Australia Hi, my 25 year old brother took his life on November 14, 2006. He went into his workplace and shot himself. This is the most devastating thing I have ever experienced. For the first year after his death, I thought I was going to die from heartbreak. I was scared I was going to end up in the ground beside him. Now I am feeling a little better but life is still just so hard. I am so glad to have found this website. Thank you so much. K
PETER NEAME RESEARCH OFFICER
In our view and in the view of scientific research suicide is caused by neurological abnormalities. Mentally well people have an instinctive reflex to survive. A normal individual cannot turn off/override this reflex or what the Greeks refer to as Eros-life force. In an individual with a neurological condition commonly referred to as a mental illness this life force can become death force or what the Greeks refer to as Thanatos. Survival instincts are located in the Limbic System of the brain.
All current suicide prevention strategies fail because they do not acknowledge the neurological base of mental illness. Mental illness is a 1) Chronic, 2) Progressive, 3) Neurological Disorder affecting the, 4) Structure, 5) Function and 6) Chemistry of the Brain.
Assessment of mental illness should always cover these six points, currently it does not.
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”.
Christmas – What a Wonderful Time
We are indeed lucky to be involved with a business which focuses on Christmas all year round; we actually make the components of light displays.
It is lovely to share the joy of Christmas with all those people who come to see our lights display at our home and business. The feed back regarding our involvement with the White Wreath Association is over whelming positive. It seems just about everyone is touched in some way by suicide.
In a season of positive thoughts and wishes, it is encouraging to know that there is something we can do to be proactive in the awareness and prevention of suicide.
This year we raised $ 1123.55 as the years go by, we hope to increase this amount.
We feel truly honoured to play a part in this great Association.
We wish each and everyone a wonderful and happy new year.
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……
LETTER TO THE EDITOR SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
24 NOV 2008
News Article: Title Shameful Secret of our Family Murder Epidemic
The hard scientific or factual evidence is that suicide, violence and murder are caused by morphological changes in the brain combined with low serotonin. Simply the structure, function and chemistry of the brain are not normal. Recent high profile murders, murder suicide and mass killings were all preceded by one or more suicide attempts. In the worst killing the person was regarded as an “attention seeker”. In more than 80% of completed suicides and other mental health disasters someone close to the patient and or the patient themselves have tried, in good faith, to get help from professionals but been turned away. This is both an attitude and training problem/issue. Professionals must be accountable or nothing will change. Many psychiatrists see suicide as a nuisance and a “red herring”. To the best of our knowledge no Professional has ever been held accountable for the death of a patient.
“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
- 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.
Thursday May 11
Went to Probation Officer. Had a good talk. Got a card and scratchy for mother’s day. Picked up letter from Bernie for solicitor. I finished reading my book and mum went to Halifax. I had one of the worst anxiety panic attacks that I’ve had since I have been here. Rang Bernie and took some medication. I really freaked out. I fucken hate this shit. One minute I think I’m betting ahead then this shit happens. If I had a gun I would honestly use it. I need some peace!
Friday May 12
Bernie coming out today to go over yesterday’s episode! Maybe Bruce coming over after that. Mitchell never text me last night. I hate this fucken life! One day something’s got to give either way. I have to get some peace!
Saturday May 13
Went to Townsville. Went to doctor got a script. Saw the kids and gave Mitchell his birthday card and met his mate Balin. Adri was good too. As usual it was sad to go! Went for walk on beach with mum.
Sunday May 14
Quiet day reading. Went for walk on beach!
Monday May 15
Didn’t do much just read. Went for walk on beach with mum.
Tuesday May 16
Went to probo’s. Did some shopping. Heard from Tarnia! (not a good move!) Mitchell’s birthday. Rang him in the morning and text him as well. Spoke to Mal. He is coming up soon. He said he can get me a job in the mines! Yahoo. Just what I needed to hear! Went to see Bro Kelly. Made arrangements to give him a hand at his house on Thursday. No walk because I walked to Bro Kelly’s.
TO BE CONTINUED…….
NATIONAL WHITE WREATH DAY – IN REMEMBRANCE OF ALL VICTIMS 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
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.
SOCK IT TO SUICIDE
First Full Week In October Mon – Fri
THIS EVENT IS VERY IMPORTANT AS IT IS OUR MAJOR FUNDRAISNING EVENT AND YOUR HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATEED. MAYBE YOU COULD INVOLVE YOUR WORKPLACE, LOCAL SCHOOL, COMMUNITY CENTRE ETC. 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. Alternatively they can purchase a Sock It To Suicide Pin for $3.00 plus postage. If you wish to purchase 20 or more pins they will come in a very well, brightly presented box of 20. We would greatly appreciate your support with this endeavour and hope it is a fun day for all. Contact Head Office for more details.
The following correspondence maybe disturbing to our readers as it is also to us. Until our Safehaven Centres are up and running we have no other alternative than to direct people to their Psychiatrist/Doctor or directly to the Emergency of a Public Hospital nearest to them. Concerned family members should insist that their loved ones are admitted to hospital and assessed over time. Suicide/mental illness is life threatening and like any other life threatening illness eg Cancer, Heart Disease should be treated as a Medical Emergency. We advocate for all Australians assisting them to receive proper and immediate help/treatment with their full permission in writing allowing us to act on their behalf in any way we see fit. However this is not as easy as it sounds as most try to cope alone, in silence and the best way they can.
I just read with absolute horror that NZ’s suicide rate is 1.4 per day!!! Is this true? It seems incredible that we have this huge a problem in our country and we don’t seem to address it in the public arena. We talk openly about everything else here but suicide is still ‘not talked about’. I would like to write to an MP about this and was wondering what you thought was best approach and who? Thanks S S
OK, so this is a rather weird request. My name is M F, and I’m 18 years old. I currently reside in Camp Carroll, South Korea. I am a part of (Address supplied to member upon request). I don’t know why but for about 3 weeks now I have been gathering together as much information, statistics, and stories, on suicide survivors, and the loved ones of those past. I am in the process of writing a book called ‘Through a Mask of Tears: Suicidal Thoughts of Safety’ I could use some help and you are the first that I have contacted. If you would be willing or even some of the families it would be appreciated. I believe that people need to understand what is happening, and not by someone who has never been through anything. By someone who has been there, and understands how far down you can go. But they need to understand that Suicide is a permanent Solution to a temporary Problem. Thank you
Footnote:- We never give out details/information of members. We will always ask your permission first. If you would like to make personal contact with this person please contact us and we will forward their details to you.
My name is P. By good luck I found your site and read some of the personal stories. I am myself on the verge of suicide and think about daily. I have one would think, all the ingredients for great mental health, I see a psychologist, I have loving family and friends and I make others happy. Yet, as I am on the cusp of starting Uni in Brisbane and living in a shared apartment (something I’ve never done before), I find myself constantly thinking about hanging myself. I also think about the damage it would do to my family, especially my parents who I live with as I feel I cannot function alone (very frustrating). Nothing anyone says, however well-meaning can heal me. It can only come from within. I moved to my city 20 years ago. I am 28. In my old home town I had friends, I was never teased and while I had the usual sibling spats (I am the youngest of 4 sons), life was pretty good. But as soon as I moved, I was teased and bullied and excluded from grade 3 to year 11 where depression and anxiety made my work pile up and I gradually fell out of school life. I left home 2 years later after borrowing money from my parents and just travelled to and from Brisbane living in motels. I found the internet, which for someone in my state has only done further damage. I can’t meet a woman, get the career I want, live with other adults or find happiness and one day soon I’ll lose that last little bit of worry for my parents when I die, and then I’ll do it. Like with anything else, I don’t think writing to you will achieve anything but at least I did it.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am interested in volunteering with White Wreath. I am currently towards the end of my 3rd year in B Psychology and I have been enrolled into the Specialist Year for my 4th year next year. I would love to be able to help people and be able to support this organisation. Please let me know if it would be possible for me to volunteer soon.
Thank you for your time and cooperation,
I am writing to you to congratulate you on a wonderful service to the community.
My sister took her own life 1 year ago on the 8th of this month. It has been a journey to say the least. I have a story of loss, pain, anger and sadness to tell – of course! But the story which is most relevant here is the fact that the “school mums” who were once very friendly and supportive of me – being a working, almost single mum – have backed off since Tracy’s death. Before the 8th November 2007 I was invited to their parties, coffee mornings and Tupperware parties, all of which I attended because it was right to accept their invitations – not necessarily because I wanted to, or had the time or energy. But now – I am too difficult – I’ve had an experience which they do not wish to talk about. I have just realized – I have the suicide pox!
However being “diseased” as I am, I am also a qualified accountant and company secretary. I have aspirations of moving into corporate non executive director roles sometime in the future, and have been advised by different mentors that a good first step is to join the board of a not for profit organisation – preferably in a field I am passionate about or have had some experience in.
The White Wreath Association fits that description. I live in Perth, but would be happy to travel to Brisbane a few times a year (my mother lives there). I can offer the association assistance with accounting and audit as well as corporate governance compliance – this is my trade. But most importantly I am very keen to assist the association in establishing a greater presence. This is an area which must have more community focus and support. I have recently lost my sister to suicide, after years of her attempting, and yet I only became aware of your association yesterday! If I can help the association in any way please do not hesitate to call me. I would be happy to send you my resume if a board position comes up. Kind regards and best wishes.
I found your site whilst searching for painless easy suicide methods. I don’t know why I am bothering contacting you.
I just want you to know that it is an option.
Some people have lives that hurt more than others can comprehend.
My life for the last 3 years has been nothing but pain..
My x’s mum died of brain cancer, my x changed, left me
Ever since every possible bad thing has happened, and I’m currently homeless and unemployed. I even got blood poisoning the other day, I have thousands of dollars worth of debt, I only cause problems for people..I had started to feel better, I have tried so many times to sort my life out, everytime it goes wrong..I had planned to move to Brisbane, and had a high profile IT job to go to, the people I was to stay with have avoided me and I can’t stay any place. All I ever wanted to do was move to the city and work, go to uni, find a girl, and be happy. No matter what I try, it goes wrong, both of my parents want nothing to do with me also. I don’t know what else to do anymore, the pain far out ways the good times..
In the end, it just isn’t worth it anymore, why keep trying only to be hurt over and over,
I have had hope, for the last 3 years that things will get better, they just don’t..
3 years is too long, you would never believe the things that happen to me, my friends are always shocked by the things that happen to me, and don’t understand how it keeps happening
It’s as if there is a god and he wants me to suffer…
What other options do I have, I can’t see any anymore
Hi there, I am a 43 year old male who has been crying for the last 4 months. I feel like the walking dead and I’m tired of walking. Everyday I think of taking my life to stop this unbearable pain that consumes me. I have two glorious children and the thought of them not having a daddy stops me every time….but the further I slip into this darkness the further I feel they would be better off without a father who was permanently depressed. After 17 years with my wife I find she loves someone else and I was never given the chance to make things better…not that I knew anything was bad. I have always been a loyal, loving and kind husband/father and feel like I have been conceptually murdered by my wife. The lies, the deceit, the betrayal are too much for me to cope with. I need help to find my way back to life. Can you help me…point me in a direction. I live in Lismore N.S.W.
I’ve tried everything, I’ve been on the phone for the last fortnight and I keep getting the run around, I’m not coping, I’ve got no support, no friends, no social worker, a counsellor I saw last week for the first time and I don’t even know if he’s any good yet, that’s it. My Dr can’t diagnose to save himself much less anyone else. My family is abusive, they are doing to my son now what they did to me, he’s heavily medicated and the D’rs can’t find anything wrong with him, they are hiding the abuse, I’ve tried but I can’t stop them.
I’ve been through this before, about 6 years ago just before I was diagnosed with PTSD, 5 visits to ER on suicide watch, they just discharged me with no support or contacts, now I take something strong to get me through the night and don’t even bother anymore, that’s all they do anyway, waste of time. MHT keep referring me back and forth, come out to the house, leave and I don’t hear from them. The psych nurses in outpatients were antagonistic and set me off then told me they couldn’t help me, I was treated like a criminal, if that’s care I don’t want it.
I’ve run out of energy, can’t get much food down, lost weight, don’t want to leave the house. I’m fed up and I’ve run out of options, I need help and I’ve been asking, I go over the same thing again and again every time but no one is listening. I don’t know how much more of this I can stand.
I am writing for some advice. I phoned your number a few weeks (maybe nearly two months ago) ago for some help regarding my cousin suiciding in England. I was on my way home from a trip of a life time with my hubby when my mum phoned telling me there was an accident and my 17 year old cousin had died. My mum waited till I returned to tell me it was suicide at the request of the whole family so as to not upset our trip. I had only seen him a few weeks previous where I felt really touched by him and his spirit. I phoned you where you offered me help and an abject ear to listen. It still hasn’t left me – the pain and the grief, I really wanted to do the sock it to suicide but a couple of weeks after my call to you I ended up in hospital with double pneumonia and influenza b I nearly died. I really wished I could have done the sock it to suicide so maybe next year when I’m in a better head space. Anyway yester day I was feeling exceedingly down and upset about all sorts (I am having trouble getting to work at the mo) and I am very emotional at the moment when I got a message from my 17 yr cousin here in Australia. I had told all my cousins in Australia how much I loved them when I got back after losing David and my 17 yr cousin here messaged me a few times since then saying he’s down and he’s getting help cause I made him promise he would get help if ever he needed it.
Yesterday was different he was the worst I had ever seen as far as messages I was getting and it seemed like nothing I said was helping, he was determined. I was a mess I couldn’t physically speak to him not knowing what to say I was scared. I didn’t ring his dad (his parents are separated) cause I respected his wish not to tell him anything (not that I talk to my uncle anyway) with my husband by my side seeing the messages I rang my other cousin (his brother) (older) and told him that I was worried real bad (I haven’t ever called him re this before). I think my cousin went and picked him up to take him back to his home. I was so scared of losing another cousin and did not want to be alone in knowing this which is why I reached out to his brother as he is closer geographically. My cousin informed me they knew of his problem and he was getting help. I think I fear that if he does something irreversible and I haven’t told someone in his closer circle I will bear an immense guilt it is so draining. Despite my mum saying I may have saved his life last night I still feel scared of losing him. He is on antidepressants and seeing spec in Brisbane I rec your number and he was very quick to say he just wants to stick to the spec he is seeing. I tried but I also realise it is his decision.
I am so so so scared of losing another family member and the fact he considers me one of his only friends is scaring me, we text often to just check up on each other. I’m so scared.
I have said I’m wanting to see him at schoolies I wanna really talk to him.
Just wondering if what I have done so far is right? It’s hard.
Thank you for your time – and keep up your wonderful work.
Thank you, I turned my phone on this morning (I left it off over night) and there was a message from last night. It was my cousin asking “so how you doing” which I am now seeing as his cue that he wants a txt chat. Or to discuss stuff. or this week is reaching out. It was not at negative as Sunday at least.
I am seriously thinking of meeting up with him at schoolies if he is still going, to have a face to face chat – I can’t talk on the phone to him- sms is easier as I can process what he says and think about my response a lil carefully.
I told him today that I was proud of him for getting the help he is and that he is so brave as a lot of ppl would be too scared, I think he appreciated it.
I am very careful to say only positive gentle things to him as that sounds like what he needs, I wouldn’t mind sending him a couple of jokes but I think that may need to wait.
I know very well that putting down whatever he says is very wrong so I make sure I don’t do that but that is not in my nature anyway.
I think he is having an off day which is why I heard from him, it’s getting very close to his last day of school, his last day of a routine, certainty etc.
Anyway thankyou for being on the other end of the computer it helps me immensely to hear from someone with some back ground. I would recommend the website to my cousin but I fear that the way he is it may put ideas into his head (is that wrong of me to think that I’m just so scared) anyway Many thanks again ..
Dear Ms. Clark, I’m a medical reporter in New York City, now working on a story for Johns Hopkins Magazine about increasing suicide rates among people in the U.S. aged 40-65, especially. I’d love to interview someone in that age range who has attempted suicide. Do you have any suggestions for how I could find such a person willing to share his/her story?
I just read the story of the women on your website who witnessed the horrific death of her partner.
I came home from work after staying away for a day because I was mad at my partner. He works nights so I thought he would be at work and I could go home on Monday evening. When I walked in the TV was on but everything else was dark except the light in the bathroom. I opened the bathroom door and he was in the tub with his head blown off.
It is a sight I will never forget. I was kicked out of the apartment we had been together for 5 years. His sister literally threw most of my stuff away and packed up some of my stuff to get out. I was not on the lease and I had nowhere to go.
Aside from the witnessing the incidents the aftermath and how people treat you is unsettling to say the least.
I was able to get help through my work insurance and entered some mental health programs and am getting ready to join a suicide grief group.
My heart truly went out to this person. She cannot blame herself and she must take the anger and look for the love that is in the world and the angels that are here to help her. I know it is so difficult but I found a quote from the bible “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I have to constantly believe this. If she would like to e-mail me I would be glad to communicate with her.
My heart and prayers go out to this women.
Hi, my name is A..and I am a senior student at K…. High School NSW. For the subject ‘Community and Family Studies’ I am doing a major research assignment. The research topic that I have chosen is youth suicide and how it affects the families left behind. I found your website and think it can be very useful. I was wondering if your organisation can help me? As part of the research project I have to put together a questionnaire and will need to interview those bereaved by suicide.
Please contact me and let me know if you are willing to help me, if you think you may have some families that I could talk to, or if you would like more information.
I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me, and I thank you for your time.
Hi Fanita I had referred you to a friend of mine in Sydney. A friend of hers had just suicided, leaving a wife called Sally, and two kids aged 3 and 5 (sounded hauntingly familiar). He had jumped off the Northbridge suspension bridge, and my friend Anne Marie had contacted me to get some advice as to how she might best help her friend. One of the pieces of advice I gave was for the widow to contact you, so I hope that may have happened. I hope all is well with you and the Association as well. Hope you are getting the feedback you deserve to confirm that your efforts are making a difference.
I am very frightened for myself and my daughter. I am 52 and believe I have been crazy for most of my life eg I can remember contemplating suicide at 8yrs of age.
After being somewhat ‘stable” (hiding)for over 20yrs and now menopausal, I realize that I have been planning my exit for over 6yrs: I have pushed away most members of family, encouraged my husband to work in the North West and am at constant logger-heads with my 19yr old daughter in the hope (I love her dearly & during these 6yrs she is what has kept me “here”) that she will move out of home and create a real life for herself. Then I can “go”. My plans became unstuck on Sunday when I over-dosed on benzodiazapines. I wasn’t “thinking” (I forgot my daughter was home) and naturally, I am still stuck here.
My dilemma: I will need to stay a little longer, to plan better, to get my “affairs” in order and I do not want my daughter to be present when I do go. BUT, the way I am feeling at the moment, I don’t really want to hang on anymore, and since my daughter will be holidaying for a week in January, I feel temptation may get the better of me. I only need 3 more years. So, I really need to be able to communicate with someone to see me through to a satisfactory conclusion. I do not wish to speak with a “health professional”: been there, done that. Contempt only forces the issue.
Reply:- We have read with much concern your email insinuating that there is temptation. We strongly believe and encourage you to seek proper and immediate help and treatment. This is definitely not something that you should be trying to handle without proper medical assistance. Please contact your Doctor or Psychiatrist immediately. Or contact us and we can do this for you.
Thanks…ta….terrific. Next time I do a trawl for people with whom I can talk, I’ll do a net search on who actually funds and supports their interests.
Suicide is painless, but your site suggests that it is a money-making enterprise which focuses on the end and not the intent and reason of the journey. Survivors don’t count. Just the sad stories of families who have lost those close to them. Sorry. It does not add up.
And, by the way, I’d change my name. “White Wreath” is somewhat morbid (as if suicidal thoughts aren’t). Why not associate yourself with Beyond Blue or some other self-interested group? Which is Commonwealth funded and headed by a former Victorian State Government Premier who professed depression for his screw-ups? Oh God, I knew: same shite, different bucket.
Boo-hoo for me, fool that I am. Is this your self-funded, community based answer: “we are concerned, see your trick cyclist or health professional?”…when you, yourselves have consistently stated how the so-called health system have failed people? Go to hell. Why do I even bother?…I will tell you.
Because anger keeps me going. I do not tilt at windmills.
I will identify and annihilate them.
Reply:- Please do not compare us to other organisations. We are completely and totally a voluntary organisation without any paid staff and no government financial assistant. We do our best to serve those that require help/assistance and all our services are free of charge.
Since our inception we have been trying to raise funds to build Safehaven Centres for those who have mental health problems and especially for those that are suicidal. Sadly because we are dealing with a very serious subject donations do not come in thick and fast but this does not deter us and we forge on regardless doing our best with a small band of volunteers continuously trying to raise funds.
In the meantime until our centres are up and running we have no other alternative than refer you to your Psychiatrist/doctor.
We will assist you if you give us your full permission in writing allowing us to act on your behalf in anyway we see fit to help you receive proper and immediate medical help. We understand that you do not want medical help but we strongly believe this will assist you and we can help if you allow us. If at any time you wish to talk please give us a call on 1300 766 177 (Cost of a local call)
Fanita You are kind people, but there is no no way that I can sign away my rights. To anyone, ever. Please stay with me. I will follow due process. And, as I suppose, nothing comes of it, I will contact you… I cannot let this rest. As my Celt heart says: Look to the West.
Reply:- You will not be signing away rights. All this will do is allow us to contact your Psychiatrist/Doctor and Health Departments of your situation and we would inform you of every step taken. However we do understand and we are here for you no matter how harshly or angry you are as we certainly don’t take offence. Fanita
The above was an ongoing conversation with Fanita and the above.
I had a horrible life, full of tragedy. I am 55years old. My mother died last year, she lived with me for 14 years. My wife of 20 years, could no longer put up with my clinical depression
I have insulin dependent diabetes, cvd and a host of other inflictions. I think of just ending it all each day. I have thug neighbours who harass me. I really have had enough, at my age.
yours Thanking D. I have had this world, I really mean it.
Thoughts of ending it all has been lingering on my mind for some time now… these days it has been getting more intense. I realize that this is very, very negative and that life is to be cherished but the constant fear and anxiety that I’ve been having for the past 20 years seems overwhelming at times. Thankful to have found the website. It gives me a perspective to the hurt and sadness experienced by other should I take my own life. As wretched of a mental torture I’m having, I would not want such hurt and sadness be inflicted to my loved ones. Best regards
Xmas alone not a lot to look forward to. I live in NZ. Please help me.
Letters from/to the Federal Government Health and Ageing Department – Our Guidelines
Department of Health and Ageing
Ms Fanita Clark
Chief Executive Officer
White Wreath Association
PO Box 1078
BROWN PLAINS QLD 41i8
Dear Ms Clark
Thank you for your letter of 21 October 2008 to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, concerning the submission from White Wreath Association to the Queensland Health review of their Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Suicidal Behaviour or Risk. The Minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.
It is extremely important that health professionals have the most considered advice when they Are supporting patients with suicidal behaviour or risk. Your organisation should be commended for the effort you have made to assist Queensland Health in the context of their current guideline review.
The Department of Health and Ageing is very interested in the work aroundthe review of the Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Suicidal Behaviour or Risk and I look forward to reading the completed documents.
Thank you once again for taking the time to bring this important work and your contribution to our attention.
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Programs Branch
GPO Box 9848 Canberra ACT 2601
Fax: (02)6289 7680
White Wreath Association Ltd
Action Against Suicide
HEADOFFICE: PO Box 1078
Browns Plains QLD 4118
Web : www.whitewreath.com
Phone: 1300 766 177
Mobile: 0410 526 562
NATIONAL WHITE WREATH DAY 29th MAY
5 December 2008
Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Programs Branch
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Thank you for your letter dated 25 November 2008 and please find enclosed our updated “Suicide Guidelines”
- Suicide/Mental Illness is life threatening and should be treated with the same seriousness as any other life threatening condition.
- Suicide is Latin for self-murder Effective suicide prevention prevents violence, suicide and murder.
- There should be one standard approach to suicidal people throughout Australia.
- Edward shorter in “A History of Psychiatry from the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac” says this is the second biological psychiatry. In simple terms mental illness is a neurological disorder not a “bio-psycho-social illness”.
Such thinking leads to completed suicides and other mental health disasters.
AMERICAN NEWS TREATMENT ADVOCAY CENTRE
Family Members Struggle Against Perception and the Law
Family members of someone with a severe mental illness are often put in an uncomfortable situation. They are struggling to help loved ones who frequently are not even aware of their need for treatment.
It can be a lonely situation, often compounded by a set of laws aimed at blocking, instead of facilitating care.
Georgina Norris of Michigan recently experienced this struggle that culminated with the murder-suicide involving her brother who suffered from bipolar disorder and his girlfriend. Her family’s story came to light following news accounts that then hit Internet blogs, much to Norris’ dismay.
“Everyone who read this article or saw the news coverage only heard the sensationalism, but the whole picture was not shown,” Norris wrote in a lengthy letter to the Port Huron, Mich., Times-Herald which first covered the story.
A similar plight was summed up following a recent tragedy in Oregon.
“Imagine your brother had a severe chronic illness. Imagine it messed with his ability to realize how sick he was and made him act a little crazy,” wrote columnist Don Colburn in the Oregonian. “Imagine he resisted getting treatment and insisted he was fine. Imagine he threatened you when you tried to help. Imagine his caregiver nearly went bankrupt. Imagine you found out he was off his meds again and about to be evicted. Imagine you were scared, desperate and clueless what to do — but decided to visit him one more time.”
He wrote about the real-life tragedy of Theresa Rockwood who tried to help her brother get treatment and the help he needed from schizophrenia.
Norris, even in a state with a favorable mental health law known as Kevin’s Law, faced an uphill legal battle marked by difficulties in being taken seriously until it was too late.
“It [the news coverage] does not say that upon going to the Probate Court, the parents were laughed at by the Probate Court staff, and told there was no way that they could file a petition because he was ‘of age,” Norris wrote.
The bottom line is that no one asks to suffer from a mental illness. It affects individuals and entire families. Policies need to take that into account and offer help to those trying to get care for a loved one, not ridicule and roadblocks. Family members are key in pushing for better use of laws, like Kevin’s Law in Michigan, and can be helped by some good resources.