Kate Carnell
Kate Carnell

Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO has said the tragic death of Matthew Dunn, who died by suicide last month after he was involved in a boating tragedy and then allegedly targeted by a hate campaign, is a reminder that these sort of campaigns and bullying generally can have deadly consequences.

Ms Carnell said it was important that everyone understood bullying and other types of discrimination are major causes of stress, leading to depression or anxiety which in turn can lead to suicide.

“This is a tragic outcome for this young man and his family, who already suffered the loss of Matthew’s cousin and two friends in the boating accident,” she said.

“Bullying of any kind, whether it be through a hate campaign, on social media such as Facebook or in the school yard or workplace, has very real ramifications.

“Bulling causes stress which is a major pre-cursor of depression and anxiety and, as has reportedly happened in this tragic case, can lead to suicide.

“We all need support from time to time but people who have recently been involved in a tragedy need particular care and if you know someone in this situation, I would ask that you keep an eye out for them and ensure they get whatever help they need.

Ms Carnell said that Matthew’s death just days before Christmas highlighted how the festive season can be particularly difficult for some people.

“For most people, this is a time of year to have fun and relax,” she said. “For others, however, it can be a time of stress, overwhelming emotional and financial pressures, disappointment or loneliness.

“Some people may also find themselves focusing on their losses and upsetting events of the past year.

“That is why it is particularly important that we to consider those in our lives who may be going through a difficult time and ensuring they have the support they need at this time of year.

“Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution to show more respect and kindness to one another and hopefully we can avoid more tragedies such as Matthew’s death.”

People are reminded that if they or someone they know needs information about where to get help, call the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636. In a crisis, call Lifeline 13 11 14