Focus on prevention

Focus on prevention

WHEN Lauren Breen was asked to be part of a suicide prevention film, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Ms Breen lost her younger brother Aidon to suicide eight years ago and is now a mental health advocate.

Mental health speaker Kevin Hines, who was one of the few to survive after jumping from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in 2000, invited Ms Breen to be involved in an international film to share the stories of those affected by mental illness.

Ms Breen flew to Sydney to film with Mr Hines early last month as part of his film Suicide: The Ripple Effect, set for release in June.

“I had heard about Kevin’s story through multiple media channels but had never joined the dots that this was that Kevin who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge and survived, only 1 per cent of people do,” she said.

“It wasn’t until the night before filming, at a coffee catch-up with Kevin, that he mentioned to Joe Williams and I that he was extremely keen to do a side film purely focused on Australia and its efforts.

“Kevin has already secured part funding for this second film and will be back on Australian shores in the second half of 2016 to visit all states to film it.”

Ms Breen said they would include mental health agencies in the Australian documentary and would potentially shoot segments of the film in Kings Park and central Perth.

“Kevin and his team will be out to film me working, and also some of the amazing mental health and suicide prevention programs Perth and WA have,” she said.

“What is incredibly exciting about this project is that it will be one of the first times that the voices of those with a lived experience of suicide and mental illness, will have their stories told on a global scale to a global audience.”