Ladies for Lads: Bassendean residents to raise awareness for mental health in abseil down QV1

L-R Bassendean residents Councillor Sarah Quinton, Leah Newbold, Nerida Mills and Jeanette Maddison are raising funds for Lifeline WA by descending one of Perth Highest sky scrapers.
L-R Bassendean residents Councillor Sarah Quinton, Leah Newbold, Nerida Mills and Jeanette Maddison are raising funds for Lifeline WA by descending one of Perth Highest sky scrapers.

HAVING lost loved ones to suicide, a group of Bassendean women will be abseiling down the 43-storey QV1 tower to raise awareness about mental health amongst men.

Bassendean councillor Sarah Quinton and fellow residents Nerida Mills, Leah Newbold and Jeanette Maddison all know what its like to lose a brother, husband, friends and colleagues to suicide.

They have started their Ladies for Lads funding page, which aimed to raise funds for Lifeline and create discussion on how men could seek help.

Cr Quinton and her family lost her brother Justin to suicide 12 years ago, and still felt the effects of the loss.

“He left behind two boys who are now men themselves, raised by their incredible mother who was both their mum and dad,” she said.

“My sense is that Justin didn’t fit the mould of what it means to be a ‘man’….he was inquisitive, thoughtful and passionate.

“This world was too hard for his sensitive soul.

“It’s why we need to look after our boys before they become men.”

Ms Mills said the father of her three children died last year after years of mental health issues.

“My hope if that organisations like Lifeline can make the difference by giving someone in darkness some light in those moments when they can not find it themselves,” she said.

“I think the stigma of asking for help needs to change – there is nothing shameful in reaching out.

“We all need help in our lives at one time or another; that’s just part of being human.

“Save the people in your life the heartache of losing someone they love to suicide.”

Ms Newbold, whose husband Clint took his life in June 2015 aged 38, said society needed to talk about work stress and workplace bullying.

“The days before he passed away, he was concerned about his work colleagues, as they were all suffering from extremely high stress and workplace bullying,” she said.

“He was talking to them about it and telling them to look after themselves, that they and their families were so much more important than their job.

“He was trying to portray to everyone else, that he was in control, could do his job and everything else that was required of him – that meant he needed to be almost super human.

“I do know, with all my heart, if Clinton had picked up the phone in the early hours of that fateful morning and had spoken to Lifeline, he would undoubtedly still be with us today.

“We have to let them (men) know that no job in the world is more important than they are.”Ms Maddison, who works in emergency services, has seen “too many preventable deaths by suicide” including friends like Clint, Ms Newbold’s late husband.

“I want to raise awareness and support services for those suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said.

“Mental health is a complex issue and difficult to understand, but please remember that every person is coming from a different place and needs understanding and support…just be kind.”

The group will be abseiling down QV1 in April.

They will also be holding a quiz night fundraiser at the Bassendean Bowls Club on March 9 at 7pm.

Visit their fundraising page at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/192463/ladies-for-lads and Facebook page.

Call Lifeline’s confidential crisis support service on 13 11 14.

If your life is in immediate danger, call 000.