Lived Experience

Hello Everyone, My name is Casey Lyons, I'm here today to talk about my best friend Dwayne Lally. Dwayne took his life on September 15th of last year after suffering depression and bi polar for a number of years. The night of Dwayne's suicide he was at a party and had been drinking, after having an argument with his girlfriend he disappeared and was found later the next day. The night he disappeared I received a phone call and immediately went in to panic mode, I went everywhere looking for him at around 3am I was overcome with this weird feeling of calmness and that is when I knew he was gone. The weeks and months following became a blur I tried to stay busy my seeing his family and making sure they were ok. On the outside I was doing my best to keep it together but on the inside I was falling apart without even realising it. Since Dwayne's passing myself and another friend have founded an organisation named LIVIN which is also in the process of becoming a fully registered charity. LIVIN was created to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention and trying to erase all the stigma attached through the message it ain't weak to speak. We encourage people to talk to their friends, family, doctor, strangers or whoever they feel comfortable in the hope that this will save their life. We believe the more people you share your burdens with results in more people keeping an eye on you and they notice when that person starts acting differently. This organisation has helped myself in ways I will never understand it's given me a purpose and the positive feedback we have received has kept me going when it all seemed to hard.  Along with keeping my best friend's legacy alive Dwayne was a lover of life and was a giver I know he would be proud we are making a positive change in honour of him. When dealing with suicide I think we need to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for the next, so we always need to be learning and adapting to find out what works for the individual. Helping people is all about listening and understanding in a non-judgemental way. I know in my heart Dwayne didn't want to die he just wanted to escape the pain he felt like he was a burden and he was tired of making mistakes. The ignorant people need to realise suicide is not selfish most people that suicide have battled and survived for so long. My hope for the future is that more people are made aware of suicide as it is the biggest killer worldwide for men aged between 18-44. There needs to come a day where we can openly talk about mental health and suicide without being judged or frowned upon. I suppose overall I hope to see the suicide rate decline more and more every year.