SUPPORT NEEDED: Denis and Maree Jones are calling for more mental health support services following the loss of Maree's son Scott to suicide.
SUPPORT NEEDED: Denis and Maree Jones are calling for more mental health support services following the loss of Maree's son Scott to suicide. Cordell Richardson

'I'm sorry mum:' The text that broke Maree's heart

A TEXT message reading 'I'm sorry, Mum' was the last thing Maree Jones heard from her son before he took his own life, three months ago.

Now, Mrs Jones is advocating for more mental health support services in Ipswich.

"There's a lack all over Australia, not just Ipswich, not just Brisbane, it's all over Australia," she said.

With tears streaming down her face, Mrs Jones explained the impacts Scott's decision has had on her life and many others.

"I'm just not coping at all. I've got to see a counsellor," she said.

"I just keep thinking he's asleep, or he's just gone on a holiday and I just keep waiting for him to come through the door and come home from work.

"It has affected my marriage and, to a degree, my other son."

"Next month is going to be difficult for me because it's his birthday."

Scott Antonini was a father of two and only 41-years-old when he died.

Scott's step dad Denis Jones said people shouldn't be afraid to speak up.

"Suicide is a taboo subject and nobody wants to talk about it," he said.

"It's a disease and we can't cure it unless we all pull together and communicate, that's the key word.

"The weekend Scott committed suicide, there were three other suicides in Ipswich."

Mrs Jones is urging other families to seek help if something isn't quite right.

"Go and see a doctor to get a referral to mental health, because after it has happened, even parents like us, we need support."

Scott's family would also like to see more education and mental health support in schools.

"Kids could be thinking about doing it," Mrs Jones said.

"Tell the kids how it emotionally affects the families, brothers, sisters, aunties, mothers, fathers.

"A lot of guilt has gone through my mind of what could I have done better, as his mother.

"It just affects so many people."

In tribute to Maree's son, volunteers at Ipswich Community Alliance Network rallied together to raise money for a suicide prevention service in Ipswich.

"I contacted our management committee and said 'how about we do a raffle and all proceeds go to suicide prevention', because we need to get it out there and we need to support the people in Ipswich going through this and in the honour of Maree and Denis and Scott," ICAN secretary Bev Cooper said.

The community network raised and donated $300 to the Ipswich Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network.

"It's a fully volunteer-run service and we have no funding, so it's all self-funded by what we can get via grants and it will help us try to set up a website," executive committee member Melissa Horton said.

"We're also trying to work with Ipswich council to print things like little business cards or service finder cards, so that they can be left with emergency services and first responders, so that if people are in a suicidal crisis, they'll know where to call."

Ms Horton said the generous donation would also help fund training and further awareness meetings and campaigns.

The Ipswich Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network consists of health care and community welfare professionals, as well as other individuals and groups working together to help build a stronger culture and community and reduce the incidence of suicide in the Ipswich and West Moreton Region.

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 131114.



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