A Mandurah resident who lost her brother to suicide is hosting a film-screening highlighting the complex issue through the eyes of a survivor – in order to raise awareness and save lives.
Suicide – The Ripple Effect follows suicide-attempt survivor Kevin Hines’ journey and the aftermath of “hurling” himself from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Hines is one of more than 2,000 to attempt suicide from the bridge and one of 36 to survive.
Eighteen years later, he is using his story to help others stay alive.
Hines explores the ‘ripple effect’ his suicide attempt had on family, friends and the people that saved him – while shining a light on individuals and organisations using their experiences to help others find hope.
Mandurah resident Kym Woolcott said she was hosting the film as a tribute to her brother, Ben, who she lost to suicide six-years ago, when he was only 22.
Men are usually the quiet ones, who slip under the radar into darkness.Kym Woolcott
“He was my best friend and I am completely lost without him,” she said.
“Every year it gets harder and harder as his birthday and date of death are a short 20 days apart, so it's a hard month for me.”
Ms Woolcott said there were warning signs, but her family believed Ben was simply going through a rough patch.
“Knowing what I know now, I would know what to say,” she said.
“Men are usually the quiet ones, who slip under the radar into darkness.”
Ms Woolcott said it is best to maintain contact with people you care about.
“That’s a huge thing,” she said. “It can be as easy as sending a message or making a quick phone call.
“Just taking a moment to consider them and check if they are alright is really important.”
Ms Woolcott said she wanted the community to open up about their mental health struggles and for the people they reach out to, to be equipped in supporting them.
“I want to reduce the impact of suicide on our local community,” she said.
“I also want to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health, and I believe this movie will assist with that, especially in a city that has been touched by so many suicides.”
The proceeds will go to local charity, Squared Away, which provides a space for men to meet, discuss and act upon issues affecting them.
FanForce director Danny Lachevre said suicide disproportionately affects regional areas such as the Peel region.
“We really believe this film is making a difference, providing hope for those at risk of suicide, as well addressing widespread stigma around the issue,” he said.
“Importantly, it shows how all of us including friends, family and the wider community, can help.”
The film will be screening on October 8 at Reading Cinemas Mandurah, from 6pm.
Tickets can be be purchased prior to the event and via this link.
A certain amount of tickets must be sold, for the screening to go ahead.