An Aussie funeral director who has triumphed over his own mental health struggles has opened up about the devastating consequences of suicide in a moving video.
Luke Newman, from Silver Dove Funerals in Queensland, uploaded the video to the company’s Facebook page last week.
In it, he urges Australians to look out for each other, be kind and seek help when needed.
He revealed he had been inspired to release the video after learning of the shocking case of US woman Michelle Carter, who was jailed recently after sending her suicidal boyfriend a slew of messages encouraging him to take his own life.
“So … I wanted to put the call out today to anyone and everyone who might be experiencing a really hard time in life at the moment, who may be in that dark place — please listen to me now,” he said.
“Your self-worth is not defined by others’ opinion of you. Suicide is a very permanent solution to a very temporary time in life.
“Please pick up the phone and get the help that you want and you need. There is help out there for you, there are people out there who love you, care for you and adore you.”
He urged members of the community to “be that person” to help others who were struggling.
“You never know what sort of difference that could make in someone’s life,” he said in the clip.
The two-minuute video has been widely shared and liked, with countless people praising Mr Newman for bravely speaking out.
In an interview with News Corp’s Gold Coast Bulletin following the video’s release, Mr Newman explained the personal toll arranging funerals for people who took their own lives took on his life.
He said one case in particular — involving the death of a nine-year-old boy lost to suicide — still affected him deeply.
“I’ve done a funeral for a nine-year-old who committed suicide. That was so tragic,” he told the publication.
He said most people lost to suicide were middle-aged men, although there were also many young people.
He said he wanted to help others who were struggling after experiencing depression himself “for many years”.
“I was in a very bad place and was contemplating suicide, but in the end, I found a way out and found the help that I needed. People need to realise there is help out there,” he told the publication.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
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