Suicide deaths shatter community
MICK Rose has seen first-hand the horrific toll suicide takes on regional areas.
The Avondale Tavern publican said eight members of the tight-knit community had taken their lives in the past four years, prompting him to raise awareness of depression help group BeyondBlue.
“It’s just devastating,” Mr Rose said.
“I was the last person to speak to one of the men, and I couldn’t even tell there was something wrong.”
He said Avondale residents were particularly hard hit when a mother took her life two months after the suicide death of her partner, leaving behind two children.
“Sometimes as a publican I can ask them, ‘how are you going?’, and they will open up. But sometimes you don’t even know that they are depressed,” he said.
He now keeps Lifeline flyers, leaflets and wallet cards around the tavern, and trains his staff to recognise the warning signs of depression.
“A lot of people try to mask their problems with alcohol, but it doesn’t work,” Mr Rose said.
“People need to know that there is help available, and not to be frightened or think they are less macho by getting support.”
For help or information about depression, telephone Lifeline 24-hours a day on 13 11 14, or Men’s Line Australia on 1300 78 99 78. For rural mental health information, telephone Just Ask on 1300 13 1114.