OPINION: Life’s important lessons

UNLIKE going to school or learning to drive a car, there are no IQ tests for life learning.

Most people think when they look at me I am a confident, sassy, outgoing woman.

I am now, but I wasn't when I was a 14-year-old.

At 14 I used to cry myself to sleep every night, asking the universe why did he make me so ugly.

I used to also cry every night because I was so scared of the world and what people were doing to each other.

I hated my parents, I hated the world, I hated my acne, I hated everybody, except my best friend.

At 14 I thought I had betrayed my friend who meant everything to me. Breaching this trust was not something I could live with, and the thought I had harmed another human being was something I couldn't live with.

At age 14 I became a statistic and woke up tied to a hospital bed after trying to take my own life.

For whatever reason the universe allowed me to live on.

Twenty years later my baby brother took his own life.

I still have his letter he wrote to our family that day saying why.

I have had two close friends attempt suicide and who have gone on to live a full life.

From that period of my life I have come to know and better understand myself through my own life experiences.

I have stayed true to my core values and fully get that not everyone will love or like me, and that inner beauty far outweighs what is on the outside.

Australia averages around 2500 annual suicides per annum and averages around 1000 weekly self-harm attempts.

If suicide has twice the number of road deaths, why then does our government invest billions on road building and withdraw funds from mental health, in particular from regional areas?

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