Book helps to turn next page

Mosgiel woman Nikki Cockburn has written a book about her experience of her partner's suicide....
Mosgiel woman Nikki Cockburn has written a book about her experience of her partner's suicide. Photo by Linda Robertson.
In the 12 years since her partner's death, it has become easier to talk about suicide, Mosgiel woman Nikki Cockburn says.

Miss Cockburn has written about her experience of suicide in Through the Other Side, which will be launched at the Mosgiel Library next week.

She had always enjoyed writing and the process helped her own healing.

She had not intended to publish the short book, but was urged to by friends.

She had written Through the Other Side gradually over the 12 years since the death of her partner, whom she does not name in the self-published book.

The book covers their relationship, her partner's death aged 19 and her recovery since.

''Whenever I had a feeling or a memory, I would write it down, rather than keep it inside.''

Already, she says, it has had an impact.

About 120 copies have been bought, including about 15 in Australia.

She has been stopped in the street in Mosgiel by people wanting to talk about it.

''I have always said that if I could help one person, then my job is done.''

These days, there was greater awareness of depression and suicide.

''Even 12 years ago, when he died, it wasn't as broadcast as it is now.

''It's more recognised now - depression as an illness.''

Many people were frightened of mental health conditions such as depression, she believed.

Greater awareness had helped, but suicide statistics were still far too high.

Many people were still unaware of the support groups and services available to them.

''Don't be afraid to ask for help, because it's not a sign of weakness, it's a huge sign of strength.''

Her partner had been depressed, and had said he would take his life, but she did not take it seriously.

A local GP will speak at the book launch, on July31.

• To attend, RSVP by July 28 by calling Miss Cockburn on 022-194-6328.



Where to get help


Lifeline: 0800-543-354.

Depression Helpline: 0800-111-757 (8am-midnight).

Healthline: 0800-611-116.

Samaritans: 0800-211-211 and (04) 473-9739.

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508-828-865.

Youthline: 0800-376-633, free text 234 or email

What's Up: 0800-942-8787 (for 5-18-year-olds; 1pm-11pm).

Kidsline: 0800-543-754 (for children 14 and under; 4pm-6pm weekdays).

In an emergency: Call 111.


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