Mo Bro and mental health advocate Nathan Tomlin in front of his suicide note artwork in Hosier Lane. Note: The artwork was developed in consultation with the mental health and suicide prevention sector. Picture: AAP
Mo Bro and mental health advocate Nathan Tomlin in front of his suicide note artwork in Hosier Lane. Note: The artwork was developed in consultation with the mental health and suicide prevention sector. Picture: AAP

Graffiti shows power of a simple text

DON'T underestimate the power of a simple text message; it might just save a life.

An unprompted text from one of Nathan Tomlin's closest friends proved to be a life changer and life saver in one.

Nathan was minutes away from attempting to end his life when he received an unexpected, heartfelt text message.

His friend was simply checking in to say she loved him and missed him, but it inadvertently became the catalyst for Nathan to change his mind, realising he had much worth living for.

While Nathan is in a healthier headspace nowadays, he knows all too well that many men are suffering in silence.

In a powerful move, he got involved with the Movember Foundation and turned his intended suicide note into a graffiti artwork by Ling ID, on display in Melbourne's Hosier Lane.

By contributing something so personal and visually confronting, Nathan hopes his efforts will reduces stigmas while promoting conversation about male mental health.

"I've shared my note because I want to help in any way possible. This artwork is real life, from my own hand," he said.

"Looking at it now, I still remember how I felt on that night and no one should go through that."

Craig Martin, Movember global director of mental health and suicide prevention, said: "Nathan's story and this artwork are powerful reminders of why it is so important for people to reach out to the men in their lives, start conversations, ask the deeper questions and listen to what they have to say."

HOW TO HELP

The Movember Foundation encourages Australians to check in on the mental wellbeing of loved ones by following these four steps:

1. Ask how they are doing

2. Listen without judgment

3. Encourage action

4. Check in regularly

Every November, men's health in Australia is brought to the forefront, with volunteers and supporters sparking conversations and raising critical funds to help support men's health projects.

More than 2000 men die by suicide in Australia each year, accounting for three out of every four suicides.

With Movember in full swing, there's no better time than the present to get involved, start donating and help prevent premature deaths. To sign up, visit au.movember.com.

If you or anyone you know needs support, phone Lifeline on 131 114 at any time, or connect through webchat at lifeline.org.au (7pm-midnight, seven days). You can also contact BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.


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