Introducing advisory board member Lucy Dunn as part of our origins of Gotcha4Life

We recently reflected on Lucy’s captivating speech to 700+ people at our fundraising ball and followed up with some other questions about her involvement with the foundation.

Lucy’s father Angus took his life 12 years ago. It took many years for Lucy and her family to open up and talk about his suicide. Gus Worland, also suffered a huge loss. Angus was his mentor.

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Lucy spoke publicly for the first time this year about this tragic loss as part of the healing process and also supporting Gotcha4Life in making the conversation loud that we must break the stigma around suicide.

Lucy says, “I will always remember that call, it still haunts me to this day. Mum was on the other end of the phone - “something terrible has happened to dad.” The shock of suicide is so profound. The reality is, it’s quite and subtle. It’s a whisper rather than a shout. With dad (and many other suicides) there was no warning or outward signs of distress, no letter, not clue.”

We asked Lucy to share her personal drive and passion to be involved with Gotcha4Life. Lucy responded by saying, “I have experienced first hand the heart break suicide can have on a family. I want to try and save other families from experiencing the same heart ache.” Lucy truly believes that suicide is preventable. “One conversation with a true friend or family member where a man can reveal his vulnerabilities and have an open honest conversation about his dark thoughts could be the difference between life and death.” Lucy continues by saying, “I feel like if dad had just told someone, anyone what a hard time he was having we could have saved his life.” Lucy supports the foundations mission to raise awareness in our male population of mental health issues and feels that reaching boys at a young age through our education programs will go a long way in reducing suicide in our boys and men.

We asked Lucy what the driving message around all the work Gotcha4Life does and she responded with, “Its about starting the education process young, in our schools and for it to filter up through the ages. Its about honest, open communication at all times. We need to foster strong relationships and teach our boys that it is OK to be vulnerable, its OK to cry and if you are feeling sad, its Ok to tell some one. It should never be about feeling alone.”

Lucy hopes that the foundation will continue to grow at the incredible rate that it already has in the last 18 months. She really believes with big personalities like Gus Worland working tirelessly with males and Tom Harkin’s incredible schools program that we will significantly reach a large percentage of Australian males with the new version of masculinity. With our partnership programs in rural areas and other organisations like Lifeline and Weave we are on the path to great change.

Lucy really hopes that Gotcha4Life can instill in our men just how important it is to have a friend or family member they can truly depend on and trust. That all males have their Gotcha4Life mate. If we can acheive this, it will go a long way in preventing the tragic statistics of male suicide in Australia today.

As Steve Biddolph puts it, “Suicide is death by lonliness.” Today’s male should not feel that suicide is the only option. The shame and stigma around this brain disease existed in our father’s generation. It should not be in this generation or generations to come.