Tara Lal on Suicide and Mental Health

Tara’s childhood was scarred by the debilitating mental illness of her father and by her mother’s death from cancer when she was thirteen. Caught up in grief and despair, Tara and her older brother Adam developed a deep, caring bond, but Adam struggled silently with growing anxiety and depression. Four years after their mother’s death, he killed himself, throwing himself from his study window at Oxford University. Grief and insecurity threatened to engulf Tara, but eventually she found, within her brother’s diaries, her reason to live. The story moves from London to Sydney as Tara rebuilds her life, firstly as a physiotherapist and then a firefighter. Through her search for understanding and a powerful dialogue with her brother, she eventually escapes the past and finds a life of meaning. Trained in suicide prevention, the author hopes that her story will allow the reader to identify risk factors for mental illness, as well as strategies that reduce the effect of trauma and loss.

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