There's always light at end of tunnel no matter the pain
I'M NOT the kind of person to sit back and glaze over what my friends tell me, and back in high school before all these educational programs were introduced, I didn't have the resources or knowledge on how to deal with a friend telling me that she was thinking of killing herself.
We were in our teens. We should have been out living our lives and enjoying fun times. But she had already been through more than I could have imagined: assaulted by a family member, raped, abused.
She had scars up and down her arms from cutting herself because she thought it would stop the internal pain. But it didn't; it just meant she had to wear long sleeves, even in the middle of summer.
I was about 15 years old when she shared her secret with me. Instantly I knew it was a secret I couldn't keep.
If I kept it, there was the chance she would go through with her thoughts.
If I told someone, I might lose a friend. I sat on the information for a day or two, and thought long and hard, coming to the conclusion that I would tell a teacher I knew she trusted and confided in. She hated me after that. She didn't speak to me.
But I knew she had received the help she needed and there were others who could be there for her.
Five years later we caught up for a coffee, then we started running together. She's happy, engaged, enjoying her job and hobbies - and she's alive.
Please talk to someone if you're presented with a situation you don't know how to deal with - there are many services available with the numbers on this page.
- LifeLine: 13 11 14 (24 hour)
- Mensline: 1300 789 978 (24 hour)
- Suicide Callback Line: 1300 659 467 (24 hour)
- National Hope Line: 1300 467 354 (24 hour bereavement support)
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
- Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 (24 hour)
- SANE Helpline: 1800 18 SANE (M-F 9am-5pm)