SPEAKING UP: Sandra Moran lost her son when he took his own life.
SPEAKING UP: Sandra Moran lost her son when he took his own life. Contributed.

Know you're not alone

JUST two days after Jaie Moran's 22nd birthday in 2014 he took his own life.

Jaie's mother Sandra Moran said Jaie was always an impulsive person, but pinpointing warning signs that could have saved her son's life was difficult.

"He had so many things in his life that he had dreamt of - a fiancee, new baby and he loved his job," Ms Moran said.

"We were blind to any signs that he was falling down so hard."

Ms Moran said while his behaviour was stranger than normal in the three weeks prior to his death, he hid it well under the guise of leaving town for work.

"He gave his most precious things to his sister and I, his much loved fiancée Jade and seven-and-a-half-month-old daughter," she said.

"Jade and his daughter never saw Jaie alive again."

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Ms Moran said she tried to convince herself he left town to get back on track with certain areas in his life.

"In the end, none of us will truly know when he made that tragic decision to die by suicide," she said.

Ms Moran now campaigns for individuals to speak more freely about mental health, devoting her time to suicide prevention through Jaie's Journey Inc.

"Stop feeling that it is weak to speak," she said.

She added schools needed to step up to allow trained speakers to provide a safe and realistic view of the impact of suicide on those left behind.

"Most people who die by suicide, die believing that everyone would be better off if they are gone.

"This is so far from the truth - I cry at the thought of it.

"Everyone needs to know they are valued for being exactly who they are."

Ms Moran said she was supported by United Synergies' Standby Response and The Compassionate Friends' Olwen Schubert, and her advice to others is to reach out for support.

"This is not something you have to suffer alone," she said.

"It may be scary to ask for help but the alternative is far more scary and traumatic for those left behind.

"Start with asking your doctor for a mental health care plan if you are not sure what else to do."

Improving mental health support for young people who have suffered bereavement is the focus for Griffith University Masters of Suicidology graduate Karl Andriessen.

 

Mr Andriessen said he believed more research in suicide prevention was needed to better understand evidence-based suicide prevention.

"I think we really need the research in suicide prevention to improve what works and why it works."

He said it was important for researchers and policy makers to talk with young people with suicidal people to better understand their experiences of what it means of being suicidal, or being in mental health care and their experiences.

"The experiences of people who have been there is very important for our knowledge and clinical care.

"My impression is that it was not a priority and I think we have to put it more in the forefront.

"If you want to provide adequate services and develop research programs that are really important, then we have to understand the experiences, rather than assuming that we know what is important and what is best for people."

NEED TO TALK?

Anyone who feels they need to speak to someone can call:

  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia 1300 789 978


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