EDUCATING OTHERS: Danny Matthews is using his experiences with suicide to help others.
EDUCATING OTHERS: Danny Matthews is using his experiences with suicide to help others. Luke Simmonds

'You've got nothing left' - suicide survivor

DANNY Matthews has seen every ugly facet of suicide.

After unsuccessfully attempting to take his own life, he saw the devastating effects suicide can have on the people left behind when his brother-in-law killed himself three years ago.

Mr Matthews now uses those experiences to educate and mentor others who are going through similar circumstances.

He is one of the key speakers at the upcoming fourth annual Moreton North Suicide Prevention Network walk through Centenary Lakes tomorrow.

"I have three points of reference I will be speaking from,” he said.

"I'm a person who's been in hospital for attempting suicide, I've survived suicide and lost my brother-in-law to suicide.”

Mr Matthews said his journey with mental illness started in his early 20s when public awareness was far less than what it is today.

"A lot of people back then just said 'you're trying to get attention', but you're not looking for attention.

"You just don't want to be here any more. You don't want to fight any more. You've got nothing left in you.

"My biggest thing is to educate people ... we need to be more aware and people need to know where to go if they feel like that.”

While Thursday's walk is about suicide prevention and education, its key focus is creating awareness of those who are left to bereave the loss of a loved one.

Moreton North Suicide Prevention Network founder and suicidologist Ros Stygall said the bereaved are often left to grieve in silence because of social stigmas.

"We hear about suicide prevention, but we don't hear about those who are left behind and it's about breaking down that stigma,” she said.

"They feel they have to grieve in private, because it's not something that's socially acceptable.

"I think the biggest thing is the 'why' question.

"They feel guilt, anger and that they've failed in some way, but sometimes its society putting it on them.

"It's about standing with these people who are bereaved.”

The walk will be run in conjunction with Roses in the Ocean and Walk Out of the Shadows will host the event from 9am to noon tomorrow at Centenary Lakes.


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