The West

Brother s death inspires mission

When Lauren Breen's younger brother Aidon died at age 19, it set her life on a course she would never have predicted.

Just 21 at the time, she says she had been living in the moment and had not given much thought to her future.

But after Aidon took his own life in 2008 after a long battle with depression, Ms Breen made it her mission to raise awareness about mental illness and encourage more open discussion about suicide.

Almost six years on, she works for Anglicare as a mental health worker, is an ambassador for Lifeline WA and has established a suicide prevention and mental health advocacy group The Aidon Project.

"I had no concept of mental health and the stigma associated with it, and it wasn't until after Aidon passed away that I went looking for information," she said. "The Aidon Project aims to make people aware of the amazing resources and organisations that are out there."

Tomorrow, before sunrise, Lauren will join hundreds of other West Australians who have been touched by suicide in Lifeline's fifth Out of the Shadows walk at Kings Park.

The walk is aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide.

More information from outofthe shadows.org.au.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14

The West Australian

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