For Corowa’s Pat Lawson three simple words - “I need help” - really did change his life.
Alongside his most respected colleagues, the mental health advocate is headed to America at the end of March for his second appearance on the world stage to share his message about mental health and suicide prevention.
The three day Behavioural Health Natcon seminar held in Seattle will welcome a range of mental health professionals, including doctors, suicide survivors and mental health advocates just like Pat.
Pat has undoubtedly come a long way since he attempted to take his own life after struggling to deal with the effects of depression more than two years ago.
It was this act of sheer desperation that motivated Pat to change his ways and through this he is now inspiring people around the world to never give up even when it seems all hope is lost.
While Pat prepares for his second life changing trip, he continues to greet and help followers of his Facebook page ‘3Words’ which he started in 2015.
With a cheeky smile, vibrant energy and selfless attitude, Pat checks in weekly, live streaming messages of support and advice for his 5000 followers.
Mr Lawson told the Free Press he felt privileged to again be invited to the Natcon event to help share his important message globally, that “it’s okay, to not be okay”.
“I know I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again, but some days I really have to pinch myself,” he said.
“I created my page in 2015 and to see just how much it has grown and how well received it has been right across the world makes me extremely proud.
“I know we are making a difference and if I can be there for one person, just to show them that having days, or even weeks, that you are not okay, is actually okay - then what I am trying to achieve is working.”
Pat said he was also looking into securing an office space when he gets back from the Natcon trip to further assist him in his campaign.
“I think having an office space would work great and that way people could come to see me in a more personal and comfortable environment,” Pat said.
“It’s all a work in progress and each day I am learning new ways to support and share the message, it’s just phenomenal.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have the opportunity to help mental health sufferers like I do.
“This journey hasn’t only changed my life but has and will continue to change the lives of so many others, that is something I am very passionate to carry through.”
If you would like to check in with Pat weekly, visit his Facebook page ‘3Words’ and become a follower.
Anyone experiencing hardship should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.