Ellenbrook parents join drive to raise funds for Lifeline WA after loss of own son


Collette Wright with a photograph of her son Nathan, who took his own life in 2009. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Collette Wright with a photograph of her son Nathan, who took his own life in 2009. Picture: Bruce Hunt

Join Community Newspaper Group in supporting the Stepping Out of the Shadows campaign to raise $1 million for Lifeline WA. We are encouraging our 1 million readers* to donate $10 each. Visit www.lifelinewa.org.au.

COLLETTE Wright said her son Nathan had a big heart and was always ready to do anything for anyone.

The Ellenbrook mother had a knowing feeling he had died when eight years ago she was first told he had tried to end his life.

“My husband was trying to reassure me that ‘he’ll be ok, he’ll be ok’… I just knew that he was gone,” Collette said.

It was three days before Nathan was to celebrate his 21st birthday.

He left behind two brothers and a sister.

Collette and her husband Dave are supporting a drive to deliver vital funds for Lifeline WA.

The Stepping Out of the Shadows campaign aims to raise $1 million to train more volunteers and mentors, answer more calls and save more lives.

Collette said the service had been a “tower of strength” for their family since Nathan’s death.

“Lifeline has done so much for my family,” she said.

“They’re just there for you if you feel that you’re going into that dark place or you just want somebody to talk to.

“And they’re not just anybody that’s sat there waiting to take calls; they are 100 per cent suicide survivors themselves.”

Collette said Nathan’s best friend had committed suicide only a year before he had.

“He was absolutely devastated and I remember sitting talking with him and saying ‘look, promise me that you’ll never go there’,” she said.

“And he did, he promised me, but obviously things just became too much.”

She said he had a loving, happy energy but struggled with confidence, was too hard on himself and had trouble with other kids at school.

“He got into fights because people tried to bully him because he was a very tall boy – he was six foot four – and people thought that ‘oh, he thinks he’s a big man’ and ‘we’ll have a go at him’,” she said.

“He was very strong willed and a lot of the time he would just take whatever was dished out for him to a point that when he did snap he would lose his temper.”

She said he felt people were constantly picking at him and as though he was not good enough.

“Often he would come home in tears and he would be saying ‘I can’t do anything right mum’,” she said.

“I think one of the big things that really sent him into a spiral in high school was a school report that he brought home and a teacher had actually put in it that he would never amount to anything.

“We didn’t know because he didn’t show us the report for years. When he showed me, I was horrified.”

Nathan left school when he was 15 and entered the workforce.

Collette said at the time of his death, he was having relationship problems and they had asked him to move back home.

“We lost him on March 5, 2009. We had no idea, absolutely no idea what was going on,” she said.

“Apparently he was offered help but he said he was fine.

“We did talk to him at times and he’d say ‘I’m right, I’m ok’ and ‘don’t worry’, you know, even though he knew we did worry but we never expected in a million years that he would have gone to that place.”

*Source: emmaTM conducted by Ipsos MediaCT for 12 months ending January – Readers in Last 4 Weeks. Nielsen DRM

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