I went to school with Sean Harrison but I didn't know him well. I know that he was one of the guys who hung out with his own friends and would make the odd contribution in class. We'd have the occasional interaction but he pretty much kept to his own group.
What I didn't know is that Sean suffered from depression. After his school life, he went through some tough times which resulted in his taking his own life at the tender age of 38. I think those who knew him were just as surprised at his tragic demise as those who didn't.
I think we all have a "Sean" on our lives. The individuals who look OK on the outside but are struggling with internal demons that ultimately consume them. So what can we do to learn from and help prevent what happened to the Sean's in our lives?
My school mate, David Peach did something about it. He was a close friend of Sean and decided this year to take two actions. One was to honour his memory with a tribute ride known as the Black Dog Ride from Sydney to Central Australia. The ride creates awareness of depression and raises funds to provide mental health services. The second action was to raise money from the community for the cause.
I have a deep respect for David for honouring a fallen schoolmate and for doing something about raising awareness and funds to assist in preventing this happening to others.
If you have a Sean in your life, I encourage you to read about him through David's compelling story and maybe place some dollars in David's online bucket to fund more services to deal with this condition via this link: