An inspirational young Cork man said he has been “overwhelmed” by support from the public after he opened up about his suicide attempt.
Ross Williams, from Midleton, attempted to take his own life less than two years ago, aged just 25. He had been feeling down and depressed for a number of years before that.
Ross told his story in the Evening Echo last month in an effort to help others and to highlight the many issues surrounding mental health and depression.
The article quickly made its way across the world, meaning Ross has been inundated with messages of support ever since.
“People have been messaging me pretty much every day since the article came out. People of all ages from teenagers to people my age to people in their 50s and 60s. I message everyone back,” said Ross.
“A lot of people are saying fair play and how it was brave to be so open about everything, and others would be telling me their stories, of what they went through, and then other people again would be asking for advice and would ask what worked for me.”
Ross said the reaction has been amazing. He has been contacted by people from as far away as the US and Canada, opening up to him about their own struggles with mental health.
“A lot of people have been sending messages of support and telling me their stories and saying reading my story really helped them. They said they could relate to it. I've had people from all over the place getting on to me,” he said.
“When you do open up, people are incredible. The support is just overwhelming. Sometimes you would doubt humanity, but the support I received would restore your faith in people, it really would. You see how unbelievable people really are.”
Ross said he has even been approached at work with people saying they never knew what he had gone through, commending him for speaking out, and recounting their own experiences.
“Everyone has their own battle. I think they feel that they can tell me because they know I'm not going to judge them because I've been there,” he said.
“I was talking to my councillor last week and we were saying how I had to be careful not to be advising people on what to do because I'm not a professional. All I can do is tell my story and say what worked for me - talking, counselling and exercise."
Anyone affected by the topics raised in this article, or is otherwise in need of support, is urged to contact The Samaritans on 116 123, to text The Samaritans on 087 260 9090, or to call Pieta House on 1800 247 247.