Townsville Bulletin

Family’s heartfelt plea to ask R U OK


A TOWNSVILLE family are sharing their tragic story of loss to inspire locals keep the lines of communicat­ion open with their family and friends.

Looking to give their children a better future, the Inman-bamber family moved to Australia from South Africa in 1997.

Geoffrey Inman-bamber said his youngest son David embraced his new home more than anyone else.

David excelled academical­ly at high school to secure a highly coveted OP1 score,

becoming music captain of a large school, runner up dux and collecting seven academic awards.

He was flying high, figurative­ly and literally, after joining the air force as an officer cadet at Australian Defence Force Academy in 2001.

Two years later, David died by suicide at the age of 21, which left a massive hole in his family’s lives that is still painful, two decades on.

Eight people take their lives every day in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Suicide Prevention Australia report that 89 per cent

of Australian­s know someone who has attempted suicide.

Mr Inman-bamber believes that the world has changed thanks to efforts to remove the stigma around discussing mental health.

“Today is R U OK day. Our beautiful son David may be with us still if someone had asked this simple question; ‘ R U OK, are you really OK?’,” Mr Inman-bamber said.

“Thanks to efforts like R U OK day, talk about suicide is much more open than it was in 2003, when the possibilit­y never crossed our minds.

“The silence we experience today is more about those di

rectly affected by suicide; those who have lost a loved one or are experienci­ng suicidal ideation and attempts.”

He and his wife Lowell speak for those bereaved by suicide and help facilitate a group for grieving parents, partners, brothers and sisters.

On September 13, the Inman-bambers will speak publicly to help the community understand the impact of suicide on survivors and address fears associated with discussing the subject.

“Suicide is still a shameful subject and is often a sure way to end a conversati­on or even a friendship,” he said.

“At Morleys Funerals’ seminar on ‘Ending the silence around suicide’, we will talk about how we have tried to deal with our grief and how we as survivors can help our community to end their silence on the subject.

“We talk about our grief and restorativ­e-orientated experience­s and how life bounces back and forth between the two.”

The seminar will take place at The Lakes Chapel, Morleys Funeral Home on Monday, September 13, at 7pm. To book, call 4779 4744.

For 24/7 support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 ??  ?? The Inman-bamber family – John, Geoffrey, Lowell, Cairen and David – in July 2002, a year before they lost David to suicide. Picture: Supplied.
The Inman-bamber family – John, Geoffrey, Lowell, Cairen and David – in July 2002, a year before they lost David to suicide. Picture: Supplied.

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