VicPol Corporate

Belinda Souter's story

Belinda Souter speaks about her husband Laurie’s experience with mental health issues

*(Reads from computer) I miss never being able to see you play footy, cricket, join the nippers or whatever you choose to pursue. I wanted to be at every match, camp that I could, and it saddens me to think I have let you down. I know your mum will be there to cheer you on and I wanted you to know that every time she cheers you, I would have been cheering just as loud. You’re both such amazing, strong little boys and I know you will grow up to be amazing strong men. Charlie my little brattzkie, my little ratbag fox….(fades out)

About an hour later, I got a visit from these police men that are very well known in my parent’s community. And they drove down my parent’s driveway and I heard the car, so I ran out the front with my mum and dad. And they got out of the car and the first thing they did was take off their police hat. When I saw that, I just knew…that it was true. I didn’t know how or anything at that stage and when they told me how he had died, (pause) I broke down. It was very difficult.

In the five weeks prior, Laurie was severely depressed. He would talk to me, but to nobody else. He just didn’t know how to deal with his problems as such. He always swept them under the carpet. But it got to the point, it just built up, built up, built up and he just exploded one day.

He was using very negative phrases. He was sort of saying, I don’t feel like I’m worth anything. I feel like I am dragging you and the boys down.

People need to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and when there’s a weakness they need to recognise that at and act on it. If they feel in any way that something’s not quite right they sort of need to just pull back a bit and say – why is this not feeling right and what can I do to help this.

*(Reads from computer)…strong enough to keep fighting the fight in my head and I am so so sorry. I hope that whenever you find yourself in need, I’ll be that pestering little angel on your shoulder that steers you in the right way. Look after your minds, look after your bodies, look after each other and especially look after your mother. Make me and your mum proud, love you always, Dad.

Reviewed 15 May 2019

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