“He absolutely loved his children…so he must have been in such a deep dark place.”
Although attitudes to mental health are changing and men are encouraged to reach out for help, society stills tells blokes we have to be tough. That we have to have it all together. Don’t show any weakness.
But what happens when everything gets too much? When the stresses of life seem to be never ending? When the light at the end of the tunnel has faded into darkness?
Do we reach out for help? All too often the answer is no.
Around 75% of suicide deaths in 2017 were men. The devastating reality behind any suicide is that there is a grieving family, often asking the question, why?
Rebekah Smith has just had some bad news. The mum of four has fractured her hand boxing, and has been told she needs to take time out from her hobby for four months. Boxing has been a way for Rebekah to keep busy, after life dealt her family the cruellest of blows.
Just before Father’s Day in 2018, Rebekah’s partner Anthony took his own life. Anthony was only 38, and he and Rebekah had 4 children aged 7, 11, 12 and 14.
For many years a stay at home mum, Bek had only just transitioned into a new career with Carer’s Link. A passion for helping others had led her into a role as a social worker and lending in-home assistance to the elderly and disabled.
Bek told 96five that the tragic loss was not something that she and the kids could comprehend immediately.
“We were just numb for months. We didn’t really deal with it straight away, we just had to keep busy and not stop to think about it.”
Just over a year later the pain of losing Anthony is still raw as Rebekah fights back tears. “He was a really awesome guy. We talk about him all the time just to honour his memory.”
I ask how her children have coped with such a traumatic event and Bek assures me that the kids are doing well.
“I’m amazed at how well the kids have come through this. We’ve received a lot of support from our family and friends, the local daycare and our schools. You need that family support because that’s what helped us.”
Rebekah was nominated for a 96five SOS by her sister Rachel saying that Bek has been working tirelessly over the last year to provide for her kids, but money is always tight.
“When Bek was organising Anthony’s funeral she attended her work inductions to make sure she could support her family afterwards. She works so hard to provide, but her car needs a new alternator and power steering pump. They would also love a family fun day as that is something they can’t afford to do.”
SOS For A Brave Mum
Memmotts will be fixing Bek’s car for free, providing all the repairs to fix the alternator and power steering to get her back safely on the road.
Kingston Park Raceway provided a family pass to their Halloween Spectacular Event, which includes go-karting, food trucks, car and bike show as well as a huge fireworks display!
Bek teared up as she thanked both organisations for their generosity – “It’s so nice to know that people care, there are really awesome people out there.”
Memmotts Automotive are located in Windsor and the Grange, and have been servicing cars since 1956. They’re an RACQ approved workshop servicing all makes and models, and are specialists in European cars as well as all types of 4WD’s and SUV’s.
Kingston Park Raceway is the ultimate go-karting experience for Brisbane and Gold Coast racers. The raceway has over 100 karts and 3 outdoor tracks to test all skill levels. There’s also plenty of other fun on offer with rides, arcade games, mini golf and much more!