Australia: R U OK co-founder Graeme Cowan shares his suicide note to help others - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaR U OK co-founder Graeme Cowan shares his suicide note to help others

20:00  11 september  2019
20:00  11 september  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Graeme Cowan specialises in preventing and treating work related fatigue, stress and Co - Founder of FactorC. Insights & eLearning to improve team mental health. Helped to start R U OK ? In his presentations, Graeme invites attendees to create rituals that build self-care - and care for each other .

The late R U OK ? founder Gavin Larkin's father took his own life in 1995 and this had a dramatic impact on him and his family. He explains why this tragic event propelled him to found R U OK ? in honour of his father's memory, and offers words of encouragement to people bereaved by suicide .

R U OK co-founder Graeme Cowan has been overwhelmed with support and messages of solidarity after sharing a suicide note he wrote in the depths of his depression 15 years ago.

R U OK co-founder Graeme Cowan shares his suicide note to help others© ABC News AU Mr Cowan is now a leading motivational speaker and posted his note to social media this week in the hope it would spark a conversation that could ultimately save lives.

It has since gone viral, being viewed or reposted more than 70,000 times with people sharing their own stories of hope and survival.

"I was just amazed … it's just overwhelmingly positive," Mr Cowan said.

"I've had so many comments, and from people of the world, just saying that this is a really, really important discussion.

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I also let some of my R U OK ? Colleagues and despite being unbelievably busy in the countdown to R U OK ? Through my work I had met a number of other good psychiatrists. Even with this inside knowledge and Graeme Cowan specialises in preventing and treating work related fatigue, stress

View Graeme Cowan - Resilience Speaker’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. WHAT OTHERS SAY: ❝ Graeme cares. We leave with tools, activities, and stories that we can use ❝ Graeme is a true force of nature & was instrumental in helping me to create R U OK

"Because people are all touched by it. It might not be specifically suicide, but it's definitely depression or anxiety or post-traumatic stress."

As R U OK Day — a national day of action to encourage people to reach out to others who may be struggling — is held for the 11th time today, Mr Cowan said the message was as vital as ever.

'You get struck in thought loops'

R U OK co-founder Graeme Cowan shares his suicide note to help others© ABC News Mr Cowan said walking, meditation and connecting with friends helped him. It was 2004 when Mr Cowan found himself at his lowest point and decided to act on his suicidal thoughts.

His family found his unconscious body and the handwritten note, and was able to call for help and save his life.

Mr Cowan said the note appeared lucid because he had been dwelling on the thoughts for two years, but the reality was it was a sign of mental illness.

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Founder Gavin Larkin in Canberra, to launch the first R U OK ? with Organisations create anonymous programs and resources to help struggling employees get the right help and take action to recover fast. My thank you video to my parents for helping me through a tough time. Graeme Cowan is a

When Brendan Maher our GM of R U OK ?, proposed to the Board that we organise a Kokoda Trail I recalled that 10 years before I had written a suicide note to my family and attempted to take my Graeme Cowan is a speaker and author who helps leaders build their resilience and performance

The note reads:

My dear family,

After four long years of battling this illness I just can't take it anymore. I feel I have tried everything and just can't see anything but a depressed future.

I would like to thank everyone for the love and care you have all shown me. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Please don't blame yourselves in any possible way for this as there is nothing possibly that you could have done.

Love always,

Graeme

P.S. I just can't be a burden any longer.

"One of the things about being depressed is that you become very, very insular," Mr Cowan said this week.

"And when you are insular you go into your own thought loops and you think it's a good idea.

"I genuinely thought that my family would be better off without me, and that does show I wasn't entirely level headed. I know that's so far from the truth."

Mr Cowan said there was no single thing that helped him turn his life around, but it started with the simple acting of going for a walk, which led to meditation and reconnecting with family and friends he had withdrawn from.

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When Gavin shared his vision for R U OK ? Day, he asked if I would like to be an ambassador. We shared an immediate bond – Gavin with profound regret that he lost his father Barry to suicide Graeme Cowan specialises in preventing and treating work related fatigue, stress and poor innovation.

If you want to change the world, start with yourself. The Circus of Ideas is a project that invites people to come along to talk about important matters in

Breaking the 'burden' mentality

Australia's suicide rate sits at 12.9 per 100,000 — above the World Health Organisation's global average of 10.7 — and is far more prevalent among men than women.

There are lines in Mr Cowan's note that may be familiar to those who experience anxiety and depression.

In particular, he said his belief that "I just can't be a burden any longer" was something that people struggled with.

"It's very real. The research shows that it is a prompt for a lot of people to take their lives," Mr Cowan said.

"What I would say, and this may sound hard, is to actually tell people how you are feeling, especially men. Men want to bottle it up.

"Because there is something profound about sharing it with another."

Mr Cowan also had advice for people who supported a loved one with depression and were struck by his line that "there is nothing possibly that could have been done".

"Just being there and showing care and following up and thinking about how they can support is a huge element," he said.

"But also not being afraid to encourage them to keep trying things.

"When people are in the red zone they think very black and white," he said.

"They think, 'Oh I've tried a psychologist and it doesn't work for me', or 'I've tried this medication and it doesn't work for me'.

"It's not the full picture if you're not with an expert."

Mr Cowan and R U OK charity are now planning to take their message global.

"We profoundly believed in the concept, but we're just delighted with how far it's come," he said.

"We're seriously planning our expansion overseas right now, which is just wonderful."

If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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A Queensland driver returned to their car in Slacks Creek recently to find they'd been left an urgent warning. "Do NOT drive your car!" the note began, underlined with red pen. "Theirs [sic] a snake in unterneath [sic] or in your moter [sic] call a snake catcher for your own sake! "Please this is no joke!" A photo posted to Facebook by Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich and Gold Coast revealed the anonymous note really was no joke - a snake had curled up underneath the car's bonnet. Experts have warned snakes are on the move as the weather warms up.

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