Tuesday 31st October 2017
Former Coffs Harbour Local Releases Groundbreaking Suicide Prevention Book
‘Reasons To Live One More Day, Every Day’: Stories of triumph from Australians who refused to give into darkness
In a bid to address Australia’s suicide epidemic, 10 inspirational Australians have united to share their stories of triumph over depression and suicide for a groundbreaking new book.
Written and edited by Brisbane author Jas Rawlinson, ‘Reasons To Live One More Day, Every Day,’ includes personal memoirs from various Australian figures, including Coffs Harbour local, Michael Crossland, who beat childhood cancer to become an Internationally renowned Inspirational speaker and best-selling author.
Inspired by her own personal experiences with depression, and the loss of her father to suicide at the age of 18, Ms Rawlinson (who grew up in Coffs Harbour and moved to Brisbane several 6 years ago, at age 26) says she felt lead to create something that would help everyday Australians find hope during tough times.
“I know I’m not alone in having suffered depression—in fact, I don’t know of many people who haven’t,” she says. “But the fact that suicide is killing 8 of our friends, family and colleagues every single day, I thought to myself, ‘There’s got to be a way to change this’”.
“When you’re stuck in a hole, it’s hard to believe that things could ever change, and that’s when people give up. I wanted to use the power of storytelling to show people—through real-life memoirs—that where you are in your journey right now, is not where you have to stay.”
“Suicide is never the solution, but I know that it can feel that way at times—that’s why it’s so important for us to talk about mental health and share our triumphs.”
Featuring mental health resources from Lifeline, along with personal memoirs from Australians who have battled everything from childhood cancer and PTSD, to debilitating disabilities, eating disorders, the death of a child, and more, Ms Rawlinson says it is her hope that every person reading can relate to at least one story.
“I really wanted this book to speak to anyone and everyone, so I spent a long time searching for a diverse range of voices from both men and women around Australia; to show that no matter what you’re going through, the dark times never last so long as you keep pushing forward.”
“Whether it’s L-Fresh the Lion talking about his struggles with anxiety and racism, Aboriginal mental health advocate Rene Reddingius sharing about his journey from the brink of suicide to becoming the founder of Transcend Initiatives, or Michael Crossland speaking about how he survived childhood cancer and ongoing health issues to become a world-renowned Inspirational speaker, the message is the same—there is always that flicker of hope waiting to be discovered.
After running a successful crowdfunding campaign to assist with printing costs, Ms Rawlinson has now released the book in paperback via her website, Thoughts From Jas, The book was published through Ocean Reeve Publishing, and was financially supported by Coffs Harbour Surgeon & Associate Professor Ned Abraham, who is the managing director of ‘Southern Cross Medical Specialists.’
Ms Rawlinson says the initial reception has been great.
“It’s been wonderful to hear how many people have been touched by the stories in my book so far. But I think what has blown me away the most, is having a young man from the UK get in contact to tell me how much he needed this book, and how he stumbled across it after having been hospitalised for attempting suicide.
“He wrote to me and said that he’d just finished reading the book and was lying there in tears, because he was so happy to know that there were others out there who knew what he was feeling, and understood.
“If this book can help ignite a spark of light within darkness, then that’s more than I could ever hope for.”
A book launch will be held on November 29th at Christian Community Primary School Library, in Curacoa St, Coffs Harbour. The event will also include a guest appearance from book contributor Michael Crossland, and locals are invited to come along to hear his story, and the inspiration behind the book.