SPEAKING OUT: Hot FM presenter Ben Norris promoting the importance of R U Ok Day.
SPEAKING OUT: Hot FM presenter Ben Norris promoting the importance of R U Ok Day. Paul Braven

Outgoing Gladstone entertainer's heartbreaking past

BENJAMIN Norris is proof depression, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide don't have an image.

To radio listeners, Ben is the cheerful, outgoing voice to greet them in the mornings.

But what some don't know is that today, which is also R U Ok Day, marks 10 years since his dad Graeme completed suicide.

Now the Hot FM presenter uses his darkest moments to help others in need.

Talking candidly about his late dad, Ben's eyes well up at the thought of his dad not being around to watch him win Big Brother, be the face of mental health campaigns, and present on radio.

Ben suffered from depression for four years. He says his darkest day was when he overdosed.

"You literally believe it could be the end and you find yourself incapable of doing the most simplest of things," he said.

"I'm a very social person and to know myself as completely silent, it's just surreal."

"It was horrific to think that after we lost my dad, my family could have lost me too."

Ben credits his partner Ben Williams and a drastic lifestyle change as to how he recovered from his depression.

"When he (my dad) passed away I tried to be the support network for my family and friends," he said.

"We're a close family and it's not like we had nothing to do with dad. We're haunted by this for the rest of our lives."

Today, Hot FM hosted a free community barbecue to commemorate R U Ok Day.

 

Roseberry Community Service and Headspace were also on hand to give information to anyone in need.

"This person could be living amongst you ... My mum calls it 'in the bedroom', it's not something sexual, it's that you don't necessarily know what's happening to a person when they go home."

If you or anyone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 131114.



Fire crews put out burning car at Shopping Centre

Fire crews put out burning car at Shopping Centre

A car has burst into flames at a shopping centre car park

Brief and precious years after father, son reunited

Brief and precious years after father, son reunited

Precious few years with dad remembered.

Jeremy Marou to headline Summer Surf Girl fundraiser

Jeremy Marou to headline Summer Surf Girl fundraiser

Money raised on Saturday night will support Tannum Sands SLSC.

Local Partners