“It wasn’t until I tried to kill myself that I got the help I needed. Before that I never went to the doctor. I got help from a child psychologist, she told me it was ok to feel this way and she was there to help me work all of that out. Mum and I started talking about it, and if I didn’t want to talk about it and just wanted a hug I would say ‘Frankie’. That was the name of My Teddy Bear, it was an awesome coping mechanism.

After the attempt they put me on medication, I was on antidepressants for a while. I can’t remember how long I was on those for but I remember being embarrassed about that. I went back to school, tried but it was too hard. The school was very supportive, but I wasn’t happy. I went and lived with my sister in Wellington for a year or two, and it was just what I needed.

If I had read about it, if I’d heard about it or talked more about it or I’d been more aware of it at the time when I was struggling so much, I don’t think I would have done what I’d done. Now that I’m in a good space and I’ve learned to cope, I realised I just needed to start talking about it. I’d never been a big writer but I thought I need to write something and tell my story. I’m not that good about talking about what happened then, but 10 years later I’m happy talking about what I know now. I’m in a great place now.

The teenage suicide statistics are really high in New Zealand compared to other countries and I’m really glad I didn’t end up as one of those statistics. We’ve swept it under the rug for far too long, I don’t think there’s the same stigma anymore. It would be awesome if we could get to the point where mental health help is free and accessible for everyone no matter where you come from.

I enjoy my birthdays so much more now, on my grandma’s birthday every year I think of her now, I think of the people I’ve lost. You always think of them on their birthday or Christmas day, I’m so I’m so glad that people don’t have to think about me like that on those days, it would forever hurt them. So yeah, I’m real f**king glad I’m still here.”


Charity registration number: CC57701