How to discuss suicide options and save lives

I have been thinking these thoughts for a while, yes suicide has plagued me for nearly a decade.

Inspired by David Jam on LinkedIn sharing statistics about suicide in Australia, I decided I would write this post based on a conversation and thoughts I had recently, around the stigma of talking about death and the process of seeking help.

In our current society, thinking about suicide, and worse, talking about it, will get you a quick trip to a hospital, without even attempting it depending on your risk level.

Due to my own mental health and trying to learn more to help myself, I have completed a couple of courses including Mental Health First Aid and becoming a Positive Mental Health Champion at work for my colleagues.

The recent discussion and thoughts I had was around suicide and changing the wording, put simply, if we stopped using the term suicide and started educating the idea that if you are feeling like taking your own life is your best solution for your issues, then you go to your GP and tell them you would like to be euthanised.

The point of doing this is that it starts that process of investigation with the GP, with psychologists or psychiatrists, to determine why you feel that way.

My suspicion is we will help far more people this way who don’t really want to die, they just want to end the suffering.

There are going to be cases where terminal illness, no family and other factors are going to result in a compassionate consideration for allowing it to happen. Though not until all avenues are attempted to give the person a reason to live.

This change in attitude and seeking action would have to start with changing the laws to allow euthanasia, I think.

Legality of assisted dying in Australia
Legality of assisted dying in Australia (red = illegal; blue = legal)

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below and maybe there is something we can do to start this conversation for real or learn why this is not a good idea.

Glowing wake of youth

My daughter turns eighteen today,
The youngest of four.

I am feeling today my job is done,
They are all capable of closing the door.

I wish I had some wise parting words,
I don’t, I know they have more.

I brought them up best I could,
Now they leave me in awe.

I marvel at their independence,
And yet cringe at some choices they make.

They are important to all the people,
Leaving their world glowing in their wake.

Hows it going?

It has been a while since I posted on here and I need to start writing again to get used to it.

At the moment I am sitting in the Red Cross Blood Bank in Ipswich and I forgot to bring my Kobo to continue reading Game fo Thrones. So I am writing a blog post left handed from my phone, learning to be ambidextrous at the same time.

Today I have reached the highest level in plasma donation, 18%. I try to donate every two weeks but I am finding something seems to get in the way every second appointment. The Blood Bank are screaming for blood and plasma these days so get in there and start donating. It is so simple to donate, more people should consider it. You just never know when you might need some yourself, or worse, someone in you’re family…

Anyway, to the point of the post. Life is going pretty well lately, especially on the home front where it means the most. Finally my beautiful wife has got through my thick skull and has been able to get me talking. This is not natural for me, or most men, but it is necessary for a mentally healthy life, just ask Dr Brian Ironwood from

Talking has not just been good for family life and relationships, it has also been good to get me thinking about where I want to be in regard to everything, work, sport, hobbies, family and most importantly, where I want to be and what I want to be doing with my wife in the future.  After all, Julie is the one I intend living the rest of my life with. I am just starting on that journey of discovery, but I an enjoying travelling it with Julie. I will try to remember to keep you informed as new things happen.

How’s it going for me? Compared to the end of last year, I am on top of the world. Things still shit me at times, but that’s life isn’t it.  Just don’t let them get you down too far by doing something about them, like talking.

I hope you’re all enjoying your life journey as well.

Have fun and keep in touch,

Movember 2012 Farewell

The Mo is gone but let’s reflect on the month we have had.

For starters we had team members signing up continuously and I was impressed with the amount and the following we have built over the last few years.   Then the donations started rolling in,  before Movember even started we were at almost $2000!  At this stage we have had urgent nationwide Aerospace General Manager, Craig Wilkinson, sign up to grow a Mo, along with other leaders in our organisation.   This sparked more member to sign up and we ended up with a total of 31 members, an awesome record and benchmark has now been set.

I started with Movember in 2007 and grew my Mo to look like the current Movember symbol. I won the Man of Movember award for a new  and was nominated team Captain,  I think the idea was to pass it on and get rid of the title each year. I started my Captaincy in 2008 and lead the team to an improved result from the previous year,  except I managed to get a couple of members in from our Brisbane office involved.  At this stage our numbers were around 10.  I thought it would be great to have a QLD team,  so the next year I pushed and over the next couple for years I had decided I would try to create a national team where everyone from Raytheon Australia joined the one team if they were going to participate. This year we achieved that successfully and going forward it is only going to grow stronger as we also have WA joining in the team.

My choice of standouts for this year were Shane Fairweather, Dave Hutchison, Rowan Green, Phil Hall and Wade Mogridge-Khan. Shane shaved his Mo off for the first time since he was 20, this meant his wife and kids would see him for the first time ever without a Mo.  Shane went on this month to grow donations to him over the $1000 Mark and he joined the Movember Platinum Club. Dave and Phil joined Movember for the first time and lead the way raising donations. Rowan and Wade also made excellent progress with fundraising totals lots higher than most of our team individuals in previous years. I hope to meet some of our other members too and congratulate them in person.

We also have had our Raytheon US counterparts join us in Movember the last couple of years and helped our network total grow to a massive $12000 raised this year! It is great to chat with some of the guys over there,  especially Shaun Beaudette, the Captain,  who has helped raise the Movember movement in the US and personally raised over $1400.  I also hope to meet Shaun one day and personally congratulate him on what he’s achieved.

Well that is it,  a great month of Movember done for another year,  more money raised to help find cancer cures and ways to help depression sufferers, more awareness raised for men’s health and hopefully more men seeing their doctor annually. I also handed over the Captaincy to Wade for next year so I more looking forward to supporting the Captain and doing my bit without some of the overhead, although I won’t be Abe to help myself,  I’m sure I will be there alongside him as a past Captain.

FInally, to those that supported my Mo and donated,  a huge thank you. To those that have not yet donated,  there is time. You can click here and donate.

My Mo and my ever-supportive daughter Caitlin


How’s life going?

Gday Everyone,

It’s  been a long time since I made a post. This one I am writing while I wait for tyres to be fitted to the Santa Fe before the trip to Townsville.

I just wanted to write about how my life is going right now. In short everything seems to be going well. The kids are healthy and developing into awesome young humans, Julie and I are heavily involved with the local footy club (AFL that is) and seeing the club grow and being a part of it is great and  work is fine although something is missing there I just have to work out what it is.  

The only thing I really want to see get better is Julie and I. We  seem to have so much on our plate that we don’t catch up as much, which means we keep on having to get to know each other again, sort of.   We are working on making the house better by adding an ensuite and another toilet and redoing the bathroom. Then we will close part of the front verandah and make another bedroom. These things don’t happen quickly enough and cost money, which is another issue.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this but I know I need to talk about it to make it clear. I would love for that person I talk to to be Julie, but conversations seem to always end up in someone has done something wrong and it needs to be fixed. I really just want to work it out and not have it end up in an action plan.

Some day soon I would love things to just go quiet. I guess that is my choice about how things go so I will work on it.

Well today is shaping up great anyway. For starters my cousin that I haven’t seen in years is coming to visit, we have a FREE cone and try night for touch footy, yep AFL, and we are getting closer to going to Townsville to play AFL Masters.


Catch up with you all soon,

Movember 2010 – Day 20

This Movember I’ve decided to donate my face to raising awareness about men’s health. My  commitment is the growth of a moustache for the entire month of Movember, which I know will generate conversation, controversy and laughter.

I am doing this because close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer in Australia each year and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime.

This is a cause I feel strongly about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to me.  To help, you can either:

–    Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
–    Write a cheque payable to Movember Foundation, referencing my registration number 109083 and mailing it to: Movember Foundation, PO Box 292, Prahran, VIC, 3181

Through the Movember Foundation and its men’s health partners, PCFA and beyondblue: the national depression initiative, Movember is funding world class research, educational and support programs which would otherwise not be possible.

For more details on the impact Movember is having please visit:

Thank you in advance for helping me to support men’s health.

Here is my Day 16 photo…

Matt Struthers

A Great Cause for a fellow Dynamic Developer!

I received this message from a friend I met when I did a property development course last year.  We were a part of the great team Dynamic Developers!  I also have been following Sean Rasmussens’s information and find him to be genuine as Mel says.  Also the information he provides that I have read is straight down the line good guts info to help you with your goals, whether it is internet marketing or not.

Read Mel’s email below and DO click on her link and register as you will not be disappointed with what you receive in return and Mel’s cause is a great one to champion.

Hi there!
I hope you’re doing well & life is treating you kindly, whatever you’ve been up to & however long it’s been since we were in touch!

Apologies for this being a bit long, but I could really use your help with a project I’m involved in – a challenge to reach as many people as I can in ONE WEEK – THIS WEEK!!

NO this is NOT a chain letter, you will not suffer at all if you don’t pass the message on!  But if you can spare 3 minutes now to make your mark here: it will make a HUGE difference!!!  🙂

I have been learning about internet marketing for the last 6 months, as I want to reach & help as many people as possible. After visiting Thailand last year & seeing more than 700 kids (some as young as 5yrs old) who have been rescued from brothels, I decided my ultimate goal is to raise awareness & funding in the future, to help stamp out modern slavery, especially child sex-slavery in places like Thailand & Cambodia…

My aim is to create unique project sites that raise both funds & awareness to combat these hidden evils. At the moment I am learning how to use marketing skills in a competition run by a great Aussie guy named Sean Rasmussen. He’s helping me to achieve my goals to start making a difference for these kids & others! By completing each task we are set, we increase our competition ranking & get our site ideas & networking skills out into the world. My task this week is to have people click on my competition affiliate link: to register their details on a simple form, giving them totally free access to Sean’s competition internet forum. (Each person who registers boosts my ranking in the comp – if I manage to win a cash prize I will be using it to set up my first charity network site!)
Every person who completes the signup form, receives a free download of “The Ultimate Twitter Guide”. This ebook is not available anywhere else & is a gift to forum members, showing how to make money online by using Twitter.  When people register to join (many join JUST to get the Twitter Guide & don’t even use the forum!) their name, email, phone & address details are SAFE, as Sean specialises in total ethical marketing, NO spam, NO harrassment – he takes people’s details to keep spammers & idiots OUT of his forum! But if anyone is worried they can quickly set up a ‘junk’ email
account just to receive their login details here: (or hotmail, or ymail)

You are not required to use the forum, simply sign up & reach the thankyou page – but by all means check it out, download the Twitter Guide & say hi if you like! The main aim of the competition is getting people networking, team efforts, seeing how many people will respond & join – if everyone joins & forwards to a few other people, in just a few days (that’s just about all the time I have left for this task!) this link could go “VIRAL”!…

Networks are the key, we can make a difference!!  If you are able to pass on this email & competition link to your family, friends & other contacts, it will be greatly appreciated – the deadline is July 31st!!

THANKS for all your help, this really is a team effort in a short period of time, but it will help create MASSIVE future long term benefits for people in desperate circumstances, as I learn to establish
fantastic websites to promote under-priveleged groups, helping them to run their own online businesses & become self-sufficient!


Luvya’s, Mel 🙂

An important update from Mel:

Hi again!!
Sooooo sorry to request this again, but I have just found out that part of the rules in the “link” competition task I emailed you about, is that I do NOT receive points on my competition ranking until each person that has signed up, has LOGGED IN to the forum ONCE!… (stuff-up on my part, but that’s another part of what this comp is designed for – to minimise, fix & learn from mistakes!)
If you do choose to sign up here: or have already done so, PLEASE be sure to follow the link in the confirmation email that is sent to you & LOGIN at the forum page. That’s when I receive points for my ranking. It is a good idea to keep a copy of the PASSWORD you fill in on the application, as it is required to login, paired with the “user name” that will be sent in your confirmation email! (If you’ve lost or deleted the email, don’t worry about it – I’m just aiming to fix my mistake ASAP!)
And of course, when you login to the forum you will have access to an excellent 30 page ebook – The Ultimate Twitter Guide. If you wish to access this gift, simply enter the “Welcome Aboard!” section of the forum, click on The Ultimate Twitter Guide (download) thread and follow the link to the download!
If you don’t wish to download, or say hi in the forum, you don’t have to! The LOGIN is all that Sean is counting, to ensure real people have entered, not “spambots”. 😉  If you have passed my first email on to others, could you also PLEASE forward this one, so everyone is aware of the login details!
MANY THANKS again for your help – I am currently ranked in 15th place out of over 350 people in the comp & hope to boost my ranking to the top before the end of the week/end of the competition on July 31st!
I will let you know how it all goes & keep you informed in future about any sites I develop to help the kids & other charity groups! Take care!
Cheers – luvya’s! Mel 🙂

Ballooning…..High on life

Coming to work this morning I saw a hot air balloon way off in the distance.   You only get to see these great machines if you are up early enough as they generally land no later than around 8am.  The heat can do funny things to all that gas in the silk sack.

I see the balloons very often around our way in the mornings, I even saw one land in the backyard of the little country gift shop on the highway, Meaning to Stop, is what the shop is called.  It actually landed in amongst the machinery next door if you are familiar with the area.

Every time I see a hot air balloon I remember a time when we lived in Nowra when my boss was given an opportunity to share some rides in a hot air balloon.  I jumped at the chance as it is very expensive if you are paying.  I also got to take my two eldest boys with me.  I have to paint the picture of the basket for you, it is a huge woven cane basket and the steps to get in are woven holes in the side of the basket.  My sons at that time were sitting in the bottom of the basket looking out through these holes.  They loved it but they were a bit short and one of them asked me if they could look over the side as we were crossing the Shoalhaven River.  I said of course, thinking he was just going to stand on the step and peek over the edge.  When he pulled himself up to the top of the basket my heart came up my throat as I felt he was about to launch himself over the side.   The scariest part of the whole ride!

Anyway that is not what I wanted to write about.  The feeling of being in the basket up high in the sky is extremely peaceful.  You see the balloon travels with the wind currents, so you don’t feel much wind, the only time is when you are going up or down and travel through currents going the other way, even then I don’t think I noticed any.  This feeling is very similar to the feeling I have been experiencing lately with my friends and family.

After a fairly long time battling depression I am becoming very clear in my head, only giving headspace to those things that matter.  Over Christmas I was only off work for a very short time, a week and a half.  In that time our family caught up with so many good friends and family and the time really flew by.   We had loads of fun and the fun has continued on, although I suspect it is more a feeling in me than the fun continuing, I have been making sure I have fun no matter what I am doing.

In short I guess the balloon this morning reminded me of how high I am feeling at the moment and how much there is to look forward to when you open your eyes wide to see everything that is happening around you and accepting it and enjoying it.  The key I keep in my mind all the time is that if I start to feel down, then there is something I need to do, talk to someone about something getting to me, stop doing something that is not sitting right with me, start doing something I keep meaning to do….much like the balloon pilot has to turn the burner on to keep his altitude we have to turn the burner on to realise what it is we need to do to keep our own altitude.

Have Fun and Keep In Touch people!


Managing Holiday Stress

I received this in a work newsletter and thought it to be relevant to share so here it is…

Understanding what may cause you stress during the holidays is the first step to managing it.    Setting high expectations and doing too much can leave us feeling overwhelmed.     Spending time with relatives or, conversely, missing our relatives, can stir up emotions.

The weather can contribute to our holiday mood as it gets hotter or colder (depending where you live in the world) and daylight increases/decreases.
Suggestions for making this holiday season less stressful:
  • Limit your schedule by selecting only the activities, parties, events, and traditions that have the most meaning and give the most joy to you.
  • Make healthy food and drink choices that will leave you feeling good and with no regrets come 2010.
  • Set a reasonable budget for the season and stick to it.
  • Exercise can be a wonderful mood elevator.
  • Spending time in well lit environments can be helpful.
Most important, seek help if your holiday stress becomes too great or you are feeling overly sad and/or disinterested in things you once enjoyed.
Have a safe, stressless, enjoyable Christmas.