THE impending birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, but for Tracy Hinton it is a stark reminder of how her family has been torn apart by suicide.
Since her brother Jamie Merchant’s death by suicide five years ago, Mrs Hinton says it is moments like this that make her miss him even more.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Mrs Hinton contacted the Central Western Daily to share her family’s story.
She said the pain and sorrow that gripped a family after a suicide never went away.
“It doesn’t get easier. You remember more things, things that are precious,” she said.
Mrs Hinton said her brother’s life had not been without its challenges prior to his death in 2008.
The 38-year-old was estranged from his two children at the time of his death and had struggled to cope after his own parents separated.
“I knew he was troubled and I knew he struggled at school and there was a breakdown in our family,” she said.
“We probably did see signs, but not to the extent that he’d do that.
“Everyone thinks you could have done more or said more.
“He never told us anything was bad, [but] he was sad he didn’t get to see his kids.”
Mrs Hinton said her family only found out after his death that Jamie had been consulting a doctor for depression.
Despite the heartbreak her family has suffered since Jamie’s death, she does not blame anyone for his death.
“If someone’s going to do it I believe they’ll do it,” she said.
Mrs Hinton hopes by sharing her story with the public that more people will talk about suicide prevention.
“There’s so many bad things you read in the newspaper every day, but why can’t we read that someone has suicided,” she said.
“We need a shock factor to get people talking about it.”
For more information visit www.suicidepreventionaust.org.
For help call the 24-hour Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.