A story of transformation
After being diagnosed with anxiety, depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attempting to take his own life, Tony turned to Beyond Blue for support. Now, in an extraordinary gesture of gratitude and care for others in the future, he has included a gift in his Will to Beyond Blue.
Tony is an avid rock climber, dog lover and linguist. But like so many others, he has experienced his own mental health challenges
After an 11-year stint in the British Army, Tony was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Years later, having married and emigrated to Sydney, Tony found himself working in a high-stress job and struggling to cope with anxiety and depression.
“I was socially distancing, I was cancelling social and family activities at the last moment, introverted and just struggling with my life.”
When his marriage broke down, Tony attempted to take his own life.
“It’s only afterwards you realise the impact it has on those people who love you, and who you love, and that I had to take responsibility, nobody else was responsible for my health. It prompted me to learn more about my mental health.”
Tony accessed information and resources about mental health from Beyond Blue. Combining this with support from his psychologist, he began to understand his mental health and how to manage it.
Tony found rock climbing to be a lifeline during his recovery after his suicide attempt.
“Rock climbing was one of my huge recovery mechanisms when I was really sick,” he says. “Indoor and outdoor climbing really helped me recover. I joined an indoor climbing gym and it was so good for me, because when you’re stuck to a wall or rock you can’t think about anything else.”
Sadly, he had to return to the UK recently when his father died, and it was this event that prompted him to think about leaving a gift in his Will to Beyond Blue.
“I never thought about leaving a charitable bequest gift in my Will until my father died and I was managing his estate,” says Tony.
“He’d not only left money to a number of charities in his Will, but I also discovered he’d been regularly donating to them.”
“That was a light bulb moment for me as I’d never really thought about this before. My Will needed updating and that’s when I suddenly thought I’d like to recognise some of the charities that mean something to me in my Will. So, I did. It was as simple as that.”
Tony says the charities that he supports all have a direct meaning to him.
“Mental health is not well understood, there’s still a stigma around it. I strongly believe that Beyond Blue helped me when I was really sick, and I hope that my legacy gift to Beyond Blue will make a life-changing difference to Australians in the future by helping them have access to resources and 24/7 support.”