Zak Williams took a year-and-a-half to grieve the death of his father.
The son of Oscar-winning actor, Robin, had been touched by suicide before, at 12 years of age, when his cousin took his own life at 13.
He had no idea how to process it and it was much the same almost 20 years later when he lost his father.
"If I was to boil down everything he did to a phrase, it would be to help people laugh and to help people learn," Mr Williams said.
"It services the path to happiness and I take that to heart because I deserve to be happy and we deserve to be happy as a community."
The entrepreneur and mental health advocate was one of three keynote speakers at the 10th Winter Solstice at QEII Square on Tuesday night.
Mr Williams opened up on battles with PTSD, generalised anxiety and depression, brought on because he didn't take time to process his grief.
"The thing that didn't register with me was that I felt that taking care of myself was a selfish act," he said.
"I felt I needed to show up for other people, because I could show up for myself later. I paid a dear price for that.
"I started to realise being vulnerable and taking the opportunity to share my story was something, ultimately, I could draw strength from.
"I started reconfiguring my approach to thinking about that, because the thing was, I couldn't be of service in a way that I needed to be if I wasn't taking care of myself."
Journalist, radio presenter and author Indira Naidoo spoke about how nature helped her cope after the death of her sister, Manika, during the COVID lockdown in Melbourne in 2020.
"The thing about suicide, for most of those affected, it is a total blindside, an unimaginable horror," she said.
Ms Naidoo began to write The Space Between The Stars within weeks after her youngest sister took her life.
"Writing I found was an invaluable way to give my grief perspective and to find the meaning in a seemingly senseless event," she said.
"For me, the question has never been why this happened rather, what is the meaning in this for me?
"Nature did become my saviour. A wise old Moreton Bay fig (tree) in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens became my spiritual guide.
"I found myself spending hours under its branches, finding deep solace in its shade. I didn't have to talk or explain. I could just be."
Associate Professor Jo Robinson has dedicated her working life to suicide prevention and spoke about how critical it has been for people to come together and talk openly about it.
"Not talking about suicide is a huge part of the problem. If we can't talk openly about suicide as a community, how can we talk about suicide prevention," she said.
Prof Robinson, who works for youth mental health group Orygen, has also explored the potential of social media platforms in suicide prevention and helped create #chatsafe guidelines for safe peer to peer communication about suicide online.
David Astle hosted Winter Solstice for a tenth time, with live acts from Well Into Winter, The Northern Folk, Shane Howard and Lillie Walker.
Welcome to Country was performed by Darren Wighton, while The Scots School Albury's pipe band, a prayer from Father Peter MacLeod-Miller and display from James Fallon High's Wiradjuri Dance Troupe formed the opening.
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