Canning Vale teenager Damien Martin tackles youth suicide with video

Damien Martin has made a series of short films about depression and suicide. Picture: Martin Kennealey.
Damien Martin has made a series of short films about depression and suicide. Picture: Martin Kennealey.

A YOUNG filmmaker has taken matters into his own hands after losing two high school friends to suicide.

18-year-old Damien Martin is getting ready to release part three of his Suicide Awareness short films in a few weeks on Facebook.

Originally posted on his Damo vs the World Facebook page, which has more than 3200 likes, the first video in the series ran just under four minutes long.

But it has notched up more than 27,000 views on Facebook since its release in 2016.

Suicide AwarenessPlease Share this video it would mean the world too me! ❤️If your are not feeling right please get help!

Posted by Damo vs the world on Friday, 6 May 2016

The second instalment was released last year and has since reached more than 4000 views.

Martin, who lives in Canning Vale but grew up in Mandurah, said the tragic passing of two school friends inspired him to attempt to tackle the problem.

“When I was in Year 11, I had two friends I played cricket with. One of them was called Phoenix and out of the blue, with no warning signs, took his life,” he said.

“It affected the whole school pretty bad and when his funeral came, this guy called Jake, that night, took his own life. That was a big shake up to the whole area.”

Martin said he wanted the films to educate people his age about depression, suicide and warning signs.

Suicide Awareness. Please share this around, would mean so much to me. WARNING: Their is some distressing scenes in this video, please watch with caution. Lifeline Australia: 13 11 15

Posted by Damo vs the world on Saturday, 15 July 2017

“I wanted to spread awareness to the younger kids. I’m young myself, I can’t make one for adults, because they go through different struggles, break-ups and I’ve never experienced that,” he said.

“The main thing I wanted to get across was the warning signs. The friends that took their lives, their parents said they hadn’t seen warning signs.

“But I thought to myself, there still may have been, and my main message was to be able to recognise when someone is depressed or suicidal.”

Martin said creating the film had been a tough ordeal, given the serious subject matter, but he had also found it to be enlightening.

“I learnt a lot more about the issue and how easy it is to fall into depression and how we can go from being normal, in a sense, to being depressed,” he said.

“I needed approval from Headpsace for the video, because they won’t support a total amount of videos, it could encourage suicide if it’s not careful.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, support is available from Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, Lifeline on 131 114, or beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36.

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