Darch: Youth Focus ambassador raises mental health awareness ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day

Youth Focus ambassador Raegan Piggott.
Youth Focus ambassador Raegan Piggott.

AFTER losing her mother to suicide, Darch teenager Raegan Piggott says she no longer knew how to exist.

She remembers not feeling “good enough” to be loved and feeling that she was not needed or wanted anymore.

“In 2014, my world came crashing down and I broke,” Ms Piggott said.

“My mum had taken her own life and I had no idea how to exist anymore.

“I didn’t think I was good enough to be loved, to live and felt that I wasn’t needed or wanted anymore.”

The grief-stricken teenager struggled with the loss and fell into depression and anxiety before hitting rock-bottom in 2016 when she ran away from home.

Ms Piggott’s school grades dropped, she felt alone and turned to self-harm.

“Emotionally and physically exhausted, I hit the bottom of the well of grief and ended up on my aunty’s doorstep not knowing where else to go,” she said.

“My aunty was scared and worried and told me about Youth Focus, hoping that by doing so I would not end up in the same memorial garden as my mum.”

Ms Piggott took her auntie’s advice and rang Youth Focus where she was assigned a case worker who she now calls her “saviour”.

In two years, with the help of Youth Focus and its free counselling sessions, Raegan turned her life around.

She is now an ambassador for the organisation and member of the Youth Reference Group.

Now 19, Ms Piggott shared her deeply personal stories ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 – to help raise awareness about youth mental health and raise funds for Youth Focus services.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with statistics showing that 54 young West Australians between 15 and 24 took their own lives last year.

According to Youth Focus, for every suicide another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.

Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf said significant investment was needed in youth mental health, with suicide the most preventable cause of death in young people.

“Unacceptably, suicide is the leading cause of death for children aged between five and 17 and young adults aged from 18 to 25,” she said.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.