He attempted suicide three times but beat the 'black dog'

Mental health disorders affect one in four people and Joel Brauer has been one of them.
Mental health disorders affect one in four people and Joel Brauer has been one of them. Patrick Woods

THREE times Joel Brauer had the knife pressed tightly to his neck ready to end it all.

Twice, his ex-housemates grabbed his arm to stop him. The third time, only a sudden, last ditch thought towards his family stopped him.

Mr Brauer's ex-girlfriend had left him and he was in a world of pain. That was the start of his downward spiral.

The Landsborough man was stuck living in a house he couldn't afford with no money left for any form of social life.

The 26-year-old struggled to come to terms with it and the vice grip of depression took over.

"I was angry, I wasn't happy with life and I just wanted it over," he said, remembering the time he squared off with the 'black dog'.

"The third time was really bad, I had it held to my neck and I ended up bleeding a bit. I just remember thinking what my family would say and my nieces growing up without their uncle.

"My housemates ended up calling the police and I was taken to the hospital.

"But since I've moved back in with my parents I am becoming happy again. It has taken a long time."

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and, while the month itself might be drawing to a close, the message remains that help is out there.


Happier times: Joel Brauer in his parents' Landsborough home.
Happier times: Joel Brauer in his parents' Landsborough home. Patrick Woods

Help came for Mr Brauer and he now lives a happier life. He says he is a survivor of depression and wants to use his experiences to bring others back from the brink.

"There is always someone out there to talk to," he said.

"Now I am back home I occasionally have bad thoughts but I say to myself to think about who I would be hurting.

"I am lucky to have the support of my family now. It is good to be happy again.

"If people are ever having trouble there are options. I know that police or ex-army people struggle too."

Through his Facebook group Live Long and Prosper Sunshine Coast, he is making steps to assist people conquer their demons.

He says anyone is welcome from people who are bullied or simply having trouble with life.

If you need help call a local psychologist or call Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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Topics:  beyondblue depression editors picks landsborough lifeline mental health mental health awareness month suicide sunshine coast

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