Stranger’s kind words save woman on brink
WHEN Natasha Young first stepped onto a Brisbane bridge with tears staining her cheeks, she was uncertain of what would be her fate.
"I must have walked past 20 people barefoot, at nine o'clock at night, in my pyjamas, with tears streaming down my face," she said.
"So many people looked at me in the eye and didn't do or say anything."
That was until one unknown man saved her life.
"He blurted out so many things, like 'you're so wanted, and I'm sure people love you', it was so beautiful," she said.
Although she was never able to thank the man, Natasha said the encounter completely altered the course of her life.
"What I realised is that it just took one thing to stop me at that point," she said.
"By starting The Living Project, I'm just trying to be that little light that man was for me."
Through Natasha's mental health group, The Living Project, she aims to change a life one message at a time by attaching notes of encouragement to bridge railings; an act she said was making "a small impact".
Yet Ben Russoniello is proof that one small act can alter your future.
The Sunshine Coast man first set up his own mental health support charity, The Grey Space Organisation, at the beginning of the year.
Ben almost lost hope in his vision until a few encouraging words intervened.
"There wouldn't be a Grey Space if it wasn't for Tash, because I nearly threw it in," he said.
"But I read one of her notes."
What Ben came to realise was that he had more in common with Tash than he first thought.
He attempted to take his own life in November last year.
Now, with a passion to "fight the same fight", Ben and Tash have teamed up by spreading her notes on the Sunshine Coast, most recently at the HMAS Brisbane Lookout in Mooloolaba.
Natasha said every person had the power to make a difference.
"You just have to do something," she said. "If we all do a little thing, it can really help.
"You really do, as an individual, have the potential to change people's lives.
"What are we all on this Earth for? It's not about our job, or what we wear, or the money we have.
"All we can do is just love."
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The pair said they hoped to continue conveying their message, by spreading more notes across the Coast, and raising funds for a crisis centre with free counselling sessions.
To follow their journey, search The Grey Space Organisation on Facebook, or follow @the.livingproject on Instagram.
If you or a loved one need support call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.