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HORSHAM’S Trudi Weir has endured tragedy few others could imagine.
On January 15, 2017 her life changed forever when her husband Jason took his own life. He was 38.
The primary school teacher was loved and respected across the Wimmera, but few knew the battle he was fighting against himself.
Mrs Weir hopes sharing her family’s story will help raise awareness about suicide and will help others.
She said her husband had depression for about 14 years before his death.
“It was always over the winter time, so they put it down to seasonal depression,” she said. “He had a medication change, and was introduced to Diazepam in the October.
“He was always more high-functioning depression, low anxiety. But when he had the medication change it flipped, so it was more high anxiety, and the depression was in the background a little bit more.
“That was basically the beginning of the end.”
I would never want anyone to ever feel the way we do and go through what we’ve had to go through.
Around Christmas 2016, Mrs Weir’s husband told her he wanted to end his life.
“We were on 24-hour suicide watch with him pretty much, and had someone with him all the time,” she said. “The closer and closer he got to going back to work, the worse it got.
“Even though he was an amazing teacher, he always doubted himself when he was down. When he was in his states of depression and anxiety, he just couldn’t see himself as a good teacher.”
Mrs Weir said the couple were always open with their four daughters about Mr Weir’s depression.
She wants to ensure depression and suicide are not taboo subjects in their family or community.
“I would never want anyone to ever feel the way we do and go through what we’ve had to go through,” she said.
“Suicide is very hidden and the whole stigma behind it is not good. I think with me talking about it, it’s showing the girls that it’s okay to talk about it.”
Mrs Weir also hopes sharing her story will open the door for others to seek help.
“Jason had an article on the side of the fridge for about four or five years about a guy who had depression, and whenever he was struggling he would always read it,” she said.
“That article was like his calming tool.
“I said to the girls that if this story can be someone’s article on the side of the fridge to get them through, it’s doing what I need it to do.
“The biggest thing is to talk about it – that’s the hardest thing. I’ve had so many people who have messaged and they don’t know where to go or what to do.
“Your initial starting point is talking about it and speaking up and not hiding, because it’s not shameful.”
- If you, or someone you know, needs help phone Lifeline on 13 14 11; MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78; or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.