29 May National White Wreath Day – In Remembrance of All Victims of Suicide is fast approaching Suicide statistics are over two years behind when they are released.
Due to this we are unable to determine how many deaths YEARLY there are.
Suicide/Mental Illness is the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Nothing alarms a family more than losing a loved one, friend, work colleague etc to suicide/mental illness.
- USA over 35,000
- China over 300,000
- Japan over 33,000
- India over 100,000.
In Australia it is very difficult for us to estimate due to the process of collating data determining a suicide. The coroner’s role is to determine the cause of death, not the leading circumstances to the death but we estimate in excess of 8,000. This list goes on with a “Final total of over 1 Million Suicides World Wide Yearly”. This is shear devastation in anyone’s opinion.
Do their deaths touch the hearts of the world? Are these people remembered with dignity and respect? Are any buried by state funerals? If mass suicides occur what is the reaction? Are the surviving families helped in any way? Are there telethons to raise the much needed funds? Are we caring, compassionate and understanding to those suffering this dreaded illness and their surviving families?
Here in Australia families are losing husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunties, grandparents etc. In many cases family members are the first on the scene and have found their loved ones, their own flesh and blood in horrific circumstances. All of these people are traumatised, devastated but yet they must grieve in silence and cope alone.
If a million people were killed by any other means there would be a huge response/outcry.
Why the difference?
How many more people must die before “Action Against Suicide” is taken seriously?
Please attend a service on the 29 May and remember those that have lost their lives by tragic means or be there to support those families that have to grieve in silence and cope alone.
- 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
- BCM Partnership Qld
- Brett Raguse Federal Member for Forde
- Office of the Minister for Public Works
- Housing and Information and Communication Technology
- To all those volunteers who have and are assisting making White Wreaths. We are truly grateful.
SPECIAL THANK YOU
To Gambling Community Benefit Fund Qld for approving our grant application allowing us to purchase a new vehicle
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”.
GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS
The Good News:
We were successful in our grant application applying for a new car. We sincerely thank Gambling Community Benefit Fund Qld for approving the grant. We bought a Toyota Corolla Accent Hatch as we had to seriously consider the cost of fuel. Our present vehicle is eleven years old. It was bought second hand through a grant many years ago and started requiring a lot of mechanical repairs. We only have one car and it is essential to our organisation. The car is used for home, hospital and doctor visits of those that contact our organisation who we assist free of charge, networking with schools and community organisations, transporting volunteers, travelling, administration duties, transporting equipment and so much more. Hopefully we can look forward to a trouble free next few years.
The Bad News:
We were unsuccessful in our grant application applying for equipment we lost indirectly due to fire. On the 8 September 2007 as mentioned in previous newsletters we lost all our equipment, merchandise and consumables indirectly due to fire and we were not insured. All our equipment etc was stored in a storage unit that was kindly donated to us for the past few years by Index Self Storage Pty Ltd. There was a lot of water damage and more seriously an asbestos issue. On Tuesday March 11 2008 we had to make a final decision of whether we should recover some of our items. Our decision which was a very difficult one was to walk away and leave everything because of the asbestos issue. It was many years of hard work stored in the shed and everything we owned. To have a specialised asbestos clean would have cost anything between $3,000 to $15,000 and that was not guaranteeing that all could be cleaned. Many of our items were also water damaged beyond repair. One of the reasons we based our decision on was the unknown factor. When people hear the word Asbestos it is like the word Cancer and frightens people immediately. We are always absolutely honest therefore we would have told our volunteers that our equipment etc was contaminated with asbestos. We felt that if a person further down the track could not shrug off a cold, cough, chest infection etc that maybe they would feel it came directly from our equipment that they were touching/handling in assisting us. We felt this would come back to haunt the White Wreath Association forever so to free us from any litigation we chose not to salvage any of our items. We applied for a grant to assist us to re-purchase some of our equipment which did not include merchandise and consumables as grant does not cover these. The application was put in shortly after the fire and it took 5 months before we were told that we were unsuccessful and try again. We were devastated by this news as it took us many years of hard work. Funds to purchase what we had was raised through the hard work and dedication by an enterprising group of volunteers all striving to make governments and the public aware of the seriousness of suicide/mental illness in our country. This is a setback for us however we will forge on and gradually re-purchase all that we lost. In the meantime our main goal of building our Safehaven Centre/s will not suffer because of this setback. Financially things will be much more difficult but we are a very tough, resilient group and we will be ready by the 29 May – National White Wreath Day In Remembrance of All Victims of Suicide and operate as normal. We also take this opportunity in “Thanking” all our Members/Readers for all the support you have given to us over the past few years and together we will re-build.
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……
ADELAIDE SOUTH AUSTRALIA
On the 1st February 2005 our much loved only son Benjamin decided to leave us and this world forever. Ben was an exceptionally healthy, happy, fit, employed and deeply loved 19yr old. He had no history of mental illness.
Ben had a passion for imported cars (esp Nissan) and drifting and was affectionately known as dr1ft_pig13 by the Australian Drift (motorsport) Community and on the www.nissansilvia.com internet forum. In any Australian state, you may see his memorial stickers on the back of imported/drift cars, they say (RIP dr1ft_pig13 always remembered).
After loosing Ben we decided to raise awareness of youth suicide, and to try and reach out and help other youth & adults who may be feeling the same despair/pain as Ben. To help us achieve our goals, we have written two websites www.youthsuicideawareness.com and www.livingwithgrief.info We have also built and modified an imported R32 Nissan Skyline into a “youth suicide awareness” project car. It can be seen on the streets of Adelaide, South Australia and at the local drift competitions.
We have taken our car and message thousands of km around Australia, talking to anyone that will listen, especially young males. As a part of our activities we have car displays (show & shines), static mall displays and car cruises (car rally’s) all attract our target “audience” young males. Each year on/near the anniversary of Ben ‘s tragic departure we hold the Ben Simpson Memorial Cruise, this year the memorial cruise (in Adelaide) had more than 200 modified cars and 400 young people attend. We also use these opportunities to raise funds for charities who work in the field of suicide prevention; the White Wreath Association is our main beneficiary.
Since loosing Ben our lives have been dedicated to raising awareness of youth suicide, the silent epidemic killing our kids.
Julie and Mark Simpson
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.
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.
My brother recently killed himself and I am trying to find someone, something, anyone who truly understands what this has done, is doing to me. I don’t even understand what is happening to me. I don’t sleep, I smoke more now than I ever used to, food repulses me but I know I have to eat otherwise I won’t be able to look after my children. I feel weak and ashamed that I feel so out of control, but I don’t know where I can go to get it back. I live in Mount Gambier, SA and I have seen and heard about this organisation locally. I don’t know where to go from here.
In August last year my husband committed suicide, he blew his head off with a shotgun. My youngest son found him, it has been a long haul for me as I’m finding it hard to come to terms with the whole scenario of it. I left my husband in February last year due to him being a abusive alcoholic, he was getting worse as the years went on and never wanted to get help for his problem. I had left him several times in the past due to this, my children suffered a great deal and I understand that I have five children aged 20-27 my oldest son is now putting the blame on me and my 4th eldest son for his father doing this, its hard to comprehend that he is doing this as he was there for me each time his father and I split up. On the night that it happened my husband rang me to tell me his intentions but I didn’t take note as he had done this so many times before and not done nothing, when I finished work I received a phone call from my eldest son to find out if I had a phone call from my youngest son, I said no and he said that his dad had shot himself but didn’t say to what extent, so I rang my youngest son and he told me. At first I didn’t believe it so I rang the police which verified the information, I had to organise how I was going to get 200km from were I lived that was hard I reach up there 12.45 in the morning. My youngest son was a mess but my oldest son was angry with me as I didn’t stay with them I was finding it hard to comprehend it all. gosh what was I suppose to do this man was a selfish bastard he knew my son was going out to visit him why did he do that was all I could think of how is this going to affect my sons life nether alone all off us. No I’m getting crap from my oldest son I understand were he is coming from but don’t no how to deal with it.
Hello my name is LC and I live in Melbourne. I am really looking to become a suicide counsellor but I am unsure of where to start or how to get involved with a company who deals with that. If at all you have some advice that would be great
To White Wreath.
Me and my friends are doing a drama assignment on teen suicide and were wondering if you knew anything about the case in Victoria where those 2 girls committed suicide. If you have the article or any information on it can you please send it to me.
Hi my name I rather not tell, but I lost my long term partner last year though mental illness and an attempted suicide.
I had been completely disgusted with the lack of support from the local mental health and state-wide.
To make matters worse for us, (myself and my now lost partner), I am visually impaired and deaf, and my partner was visually impaired and had a mental illness.
After dealing with the shock of his breakdown and then about three attempts to take his life, lack of support from the authorities was so uncaring and heartbreaking for me and my family to watch him go through the pain of his illness and nothing could be done apart from medication which appeared was not helping at all, in a matter of fact his conditions was getting so much worse, at the end result he took off, ran away and I got a horror phone call from the police one Sunday night will never forget that as long as I live, he swallowed DANO, drain cleaner, as a result destroyed his stomach, his voice box and his throat, unable to talk or eat anymore, where he had to spend 18 months in a nursing home for the elderly and dying, he was not even 48 years old, I visited him as often I could and its was so heartbreaking and emotional effected me to the point where I was getting very depressed, actually have to still deal with depression now and now on medications myself I can’t seem to do without them now, I tried to stop taking them and found myself crying all the time, feeling so terrible a real struggle to go on sometimes, now I try to go out and meet other people but it is very difficult being blind and deaf, very daunting for me.
I just wanted to share a bit of my story if anyone wanted to read it please do, something have to be done about the mental health system it not working obviously, I know I am not the only story out there.
My fear is how and what my future hold!
Thank you for letting me use your email space.