SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Agent of change for depression talk

04-Oct-2011

If there is one thing real estate agent Tim Latham is determined to sell, it is the message that depression will only continue to take lives if we continue to allow it.

The 22-year-old from Ray White Hornsby is on a one-man mission to raise awareness about depression and to make it as easy to talk about as cancer.

“When you think about depression and suicide, what have we achieved in the past 20 years?” Mr Latham said.

“If you’re diagnosed with cancer you probably tell as many people as you can because it makes you feel better talking about it.

“Depression shouldn’t be treated any differently.”

Mr Latham is talking from experience. At the age of 14 he watched big brother Stuart go from being a popular student at Knox Grammar School to a withdrawn young man who spent time in and out of hospital on medication, only to take his own life at the age of 20.

Over time Mr Latham has realised he has the ability to influence change and last week, in just three days, he raised $1300 for the Black Dog Institute by running in the Blackmores’ Half Marathon.

He is now working towards running the full marathon on Stuart’s birthday next year.

“If I told someone I lost my brother to cancer they would be calling me 24 hours a day to see if I was OK,” he said.

“But when he died no one wanted to talk about it and it’s not their fault because they’re not educated about it.”

Mr Latham has the support of Hornsby State Liberal MP Matt Kean who has also spoken publicly about losing a staff member to depression.

“We have to talk about it,” Mr Latham said.

“After years of agony and sirens and losing my best friend, if I can talk about this then so can everyone else.”

If you would like to raise money for the Black Dog Institute visit Mr Latham’s webpage, http://bsrf2011.gofundraise.com.au/page/Tim_Latham or if you are depressed and want to talk to someone, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

To read the original article from the Hornsby Advocate:

http://hornsby-advocate.whereilive.com.au/news/story/agent-of-change-for-depression-talk/