This Christmas, Peter and Trish will place a special bauble on the tree to remember their daughter Beth.
As they do each year at Christmas, they will feel the deep pain of losing their bright and bubbly 16-year-old, who took her own life.
Christmas is a time when families and friends come together and celebrate. But sadly, many families like Peter and Trish’s experience the pain of loss even more at this time of the year.
But while their hearts will forever be broken, Peter and Trish are determined to do all they can to help others get the support they need… especially over the Christmas period.
Because the reality is, although Christmas can be a time of joy and happiness for some people, for others it can be a particularly isolating and difficult time of the year. The pressure of the season and family issues can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression.
In fact, throughout December and January, demand for our Support Services is expected to increase significantly.
With eight suicides each day in Australia, and with 27 per cent of calls to our Support Service from people experiencing suicidal thoughts, your generous gift today could provide critical support to someone like Beth.
Beth had experienced anxiety since childhood, but often hid her feelings from others. Beth’s mum, Trish, shares…
“As a teenager, Beth appeared bright and bubbly on the outside, but it was a different story underneath the surface. She never opened up about anything. She just wouldn’t talk. Knowing what we now know, we can see it was a sign of anxiety.”
For Beth’s dad, Peter, the shock of losing his beautiful daughter at such a young age was almost too overwhelming to bear.
“I was numb for weeks and weeks. I was just going through the motions of getting through day to day. Her death was the last thing I thought about at night and the first thing I thought about when I woke up.”
In the years that followed, Peter experienced his own mental health struggles as he tried to come to terms with their loss…
“I fell into a pit of depression… It took me quite a while to deal with the emotions and get through. It took a lot of therapy and a lot of counselling.”
Since losing Beth, Peter and Trish have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for our Support Service through their event, the Beyond Bitumen Rally, so that more people get the support they need when it matters most.
“We don’t want anyone to experience the pain that we’ve had. We have to be making people more aware of what’s out there and let them know that help is available”, Trish says.