Griev­ing mum shares lessons from loss

Join Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group in sup­port­ing the Step­ping Out of the Shad­ows cam­paign to raise $1 mil­lion for Life­line WA. We are en­cour­ag­ing our 1 mil­lion read­ers* to do­nate $10 each. Visit www.life­linewa.org.au.

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Be A Lifeline For Lifeline - By DENISE S CAHILL *Source: em­matm con­ducted by Ip­sos Me­di­act for 12 months end­ing Jan­uary – Read­ers in Last 4 Weeks. Nielsen DRM.

THERE are mo­ments of tears and over­whelm­ing sad­ness as Simone Headley talks about her son Matt.

But there are also smiles as Simone goes through pho­tos of the happy times in the 23-year-old’s life.

“The worst thing is find­ing your own child,” she said.

Matt com­mit­ted sui­cide on De­cem­ber 14, 2015.

The mother-of-two found her old­est child out­side their home.

On the night of De­cem­ber 13, Matt told his mum he was go­ing out with friends.

“I said ‘be safe’,” Simone said. “I was up at 4am the next morn­ing be­cause my cat had just been to the vet a few days be­fore.

“I found the dog locked in the hall­way, which was un­usual be­cause he was al­ways with Matt.

“And that’s when I found him (Matt).”

Simone said Matt suf­fered from men­tal health is­sues and had been to the doc­tor to get med­i­ca­tion.

“I’m not sure if he had taken any that night,” she said.

Simone has Stepped Out of the Shad­ows to share her heartache along­side friend of more than 10 years, Doreen Wray.

Doreen, who is a ter­ri­tory sales man­ager at the Western Sub­urbs Weekly, still re­mem­bers get­ting the sad news.

“I was in Bali and I still re­mem­ber how I found out… it was from a friend via text mes­sage,” she said.

“I still re­mem­ber that holiday; you don’t want to en­joy your­self be­cause some­one is go­ing through that pain.”

Simone’s “sec­ond family” at The Mighty Quinn Tav­ern in Yokine in­stantly got in touch with each other via Mes­sen­ger to work out the best way to help their friend and her family.

“Ev­ery­one wanted to help with Matt’s funeral,” Doreen said.

“Simone is a very in­de­pen­dent sin­gle mum and takes a lot on her­self, but we all wanted to help.”

Simone has leant on this family and her coun­sel­lor over the past year and a half.

“I couldn’t have got through this with­out my coun­sel­lor. I still see her now,” she said.

“I ar­ranged a counselling ses­sion at my house for Matt’s friends and David Kelly from Life­line came out with my coun­sel­lor.

“Young guys keep things buried. “There needs to be more done; we need to get out to schools.”

Simone said ev­ery­one needed to call their friends and “see if they are al­right or go and see them for just two min­utes so they know you’re there for them”.

Simone with Matt and daugh­ter Jes­sica.

Simone Headley with her son Matt as a child.

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