SOS Copper Coast

Suicide Prevention Network

Wayne Schwass shares his experiences with suicide ideation

SOS Copper Coast was pleased to host a visit to the Copper Coast from well known AFL footballer and AFL Hall of Fame member Wayne Schwass who shared his experiences with suicide ideation at forums at Wallaroo and Ardrossan in February.

Wayne spoke about his 14 years dealing with depression, including its sudden onset at the height of his playing career, how he hid it from family, colleagues and team members, and the impacts on all aspects of his life due to his denial and long term untreated illness.

Both events attracted audiences of more than 100 people, and it was clear Wayne’s words resonated with many, and that his sharing of such personal insights was highly valued.

SOS Copper Coast hopes to host more such events which serve to reiterate that mental illness can affect anyone at any time, and that it is vital to seek help and to not try and soldier on alone for fear of showing weakness and worrying about what people think.

SOS Copper Coast Suicide Prevention Network committee members with Wayne Schwass at Wallaroo. From left, Chairman David Boots, Lyn Fullgrabe, Wayne, Vice Chair Chris Walsh, Secretary Gerry Guerin, Rosemary Cock and Treasurer Enid Yuill.
Retired AFL footballer Wayne Schwass at Wallaroo: “I was 23, flying on the football field, but on July 26, 1993, I was driving home from training and just burst into tears at a stop light.”