Truckie opens up about son's suicide, and his own struggle, as Mental Health Awareness Week begins

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 has kicked off today, with a visiting Aussie truckie opening up this morning about his son's suicide, and how he got help for himself afterwards.

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Craig Membrey’s son Rowan has left behind a lasting legacy, with his father an ambassador for Beyond Blue. Source: Breakfast

Craig Membrey spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast programme as Mental Health Foundation CEO Shaun Robinson also came on the show to talk about his own experience with suicide, while also giving advice on what people can do to improve their mental health.

Mr Robinson said the whole world is struggling with mental health problems, with worsening mental health problems and worsening suicide statistics, and New Zealanders are far from being on their own.

The aim of Mental Health Awareness Week is not only to encourage people to talk about their mental health, but to talk about solutions.

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CEO Shaun Robinson speaks about what the week aims to achieve, and his own experience with suicide. Source: Breakfast

"Back in my 30s, I attempted to take my own life, but look, here I am today," he said.

"If we're going to learn, we need to be talking to the people that have survived and figuring out what worked - for me and for the other thousands of people out there."

Mr Membrey talked about his son Rowan, who took his life in 2011 at the age of 17, and how that spurred him into opening up about his own feelings, and encouraging others to do the same.

His best advice to those struggling was to actually seek professional help.

Mr Membrey said there were warning signs before Rowan's death, and that people should be aware of those.

"It changed us, that day - I thought, why me?" he said.

"I'm a pretty strong person, I thought I was Superman. But 18 months ago I woke up and I wasn't Superman and my family knew that I had problems.

"I was just struggling, struggling in life, so we went to a doctor who sat me down for an hour and had a lot of patience and he worked me through it.

"It came up that I had severe depression myself, and I said, 'Mate, you've got it wrong. Give us your calculator I think you've added it up wrong' - but I had.

"It must have just been on me all the time, and just built up and built up - six and a half years later I copped it."

Watch the full interviews above.

Source: TVNZ