'It seemed the only option': R U OK? Day founder shares his own haunting suicide note

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

On World Suicide Prevention Day, the founder of R U OK? Day shared his own chilling suicide note from 15 years ago in a bid to instil hope in others battling depression.

Graeme Cowan took to Facebook on Tuesday to share his hand-written note for the first time, which he had penned for his family in July 2004 at a time when he had lost his will to live.

Graeme Cowan used his battle with depression to found the suicide prevention charity R U OK? Day. Source: Jacky Ghossein / Fairfax Media via Getty

“On July 24, 2004, I was 110% convinced that I would never recover from severe depression, and thought the only option was to take my life,” he wrote with the post.

The suicide prevention campaigner reflected on his train of thought those many years ago, when he had written: "I just can't be a burden any longer."

Speaking now about his previous mental state, he revealed that at the time he genuinely thought ending his life would have been the best option to help his “incredibly supportive” family.

For the first time, R U OK? Day founder Graeme Cowan has shared his suicide note from July 24, 2004. Source: Graeme Cowan / Facebook

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”It was insane thinking - but it seemed logical at the time,” Mr Cowan said this week.

“Fifteen years later I have a blessed and meaningful life. It is why I am so passionate about R U OK? and creating caring and resilient workplaces.

“I know that crises pass - and recovery - and even blessings can follow.”

He urged anyone who has lost hope to speak up and talk to someone.

“Please make an appointment with you doctor or psychologist or call a helpline. Just take one step today,” he urged.

Speaking from a his own experiences, the R U OK? Day founder urged others to trust their gut, and look out for the signs and behavioural changes in those around them.

If you suspect someone is in distress, or has lost hope - have a chat with them, he said.

“A conversation could change a life.”

If you would like to donate to the R U OK? campaign please see their donation page.

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14 Mensline 1300 789 978, the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.

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