Stories shared for world to see

SUPPORT SYSTEM: Joe Williams and Patrick Lawson were in Sydney last week filming with Kevin Hines for the Suicide: The Ripple Effect documentary.

SUPPORT SYSTEM: Joe Williams and Patrick Lawson were in Sydney last week filming with Kevin Hines for the Suicide: The Ripple Effect documentary.

Most people would be star struck by Brad Pitt but Patrick Lawson was tongue-tied after meeting American filmmaker Kevin Hines last week.

“To be in the same room as Kevin Hines is unbelievable,” Mr Lawson said.

Mr Hines was in the country to film the stories of five Australians, including Joe Williams and former Wagga boy Patrick Lawson, for his documentary Suicide: The Ripple Effect.

Mr Lawson and Mr Williams have been vocal about their own experiences with depression, anxiety and suicide attempts in an effort to help others in their situation.

The boys joined Suicide Prevention Australia advocate Lauren Breen, The Livin Charity’s Sam Webb and Oscar-winner Greg Van Borssum for a full day of filming about their experiences and what they are doing to assist others in their situation.

“It started as a group thing, Kevin asked the questions and we told our story and what we are doing to beat suicide related deaths,” Mr Lawson said.

“It’s a real boost for me.

“Helping others helps me.”

Mr Williams said there was no pressure during filming, just a meeting of minds with similar goals.

“The big picture is about saving lives and how you do that is by speaking about it,” he said.

“Something that can be so hurtful and so damaging personally can have a positive effect for others.”

The footage will be used in the American documentary but Mr Hines is returning this year to film an extended Australian version.

Mr Hines is empathetic to the stories he heard in Australia after attempting to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

The fall took four seconds and he said it broke his body but not his spirit.

“After spending time in Oz, I am so excited about the efforts here,” he said.

“I believe Australia has some of the most gifted storytellers and preventers here and the story in its entirety must be told.”

The progress of the film, which is to be released later this year, can be seen via #TeamRippleAUS or at www.suicidetherippleeffect.com.