Reece Rebetzke suicide prevention

Photo via Facebook

#ItsOkayToTalk about men’s health has never been needed more.

“The single biggest killer of men aged under 45 is suicide,” Austrailian Reece Rebetzke wrote on Facebook on Aug. 22. “In 2014, 4623 men took their own life. That’s 12 men everyday, One man every 2 hours!!! Let’s show all men across the world that #itsokaytotalk.” 

Just three weeks later, the 23-year-old took his life, according to the Daily Mail

Screengrab via Facebook

Rebetzke has become another face in the suicide epidemic, his family says. He is also another unfortunate example of why the viral hashtag #ItsOkayToTalk was created in the first place. 

During Suicide Prevention Week, rugby player Luke Ambler asked men to post selfies with #ItsOkayToTalk—just like Rebetzke did—to bring attention to the stigma men face when discussing mental health. Because what Rebetzke posted is true: About 42 percent of men ages 18–45 have considered suicide. 

Over the past month, thousands of men (and women) on social media have taken the issue to heart, encouraging others not to bottle up their feelings and reminding men that seeking professional help doesn’t make them “weak.”

Very late to the #ITSOKAYTOTALK 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼party but it’s an important message that should still be shared to help promote men’s mental health and prevent suicide. Sometimes it may be too late for one of your mates if you haven’t taken the time to ask #RUOK. At the same time men shouldn’t be afraid to answer the question honestly and openly. As those close to me would know, there have been times in my life when I wasn’t doing ok mentally. The biggest thing I learnt from these times was not to bottle things up. The best thing to do is speak to someone, whether it’s your parents, best mate, girlfriend, the fellas or even seeking professional help. It ain’t weak to speak and in fact makes you stronger. 💪🏼💪🏼 Taking some advice from Tina Riz, I would say it’s ok to talk but even better to ask your mate how he is genuinely doing. ✌🏼️✌🏼✌🏼️Check out her article and some Australian statistics below. In Australia 6 men die from suicide every day. It’s the leading cause of death in males. But an estimated 72% of men suffering mental health issues don’t seek help. Thanks for the nomination @unclehenry_ & @samuel.ireland. I now nominate my Dad, @tomhwray, Jesse Volpe & @geordieedwards to take a 👌🏼 pic and keep spreading the good word that #ITSOKAYTOTALK 👊🏼

A photo posted by Gregory J. Russell (@gregoryjrussell) on

Hi guys, this is Sarath. Sarath is from Sydney and Sarath’s #SelfieofSupport says: “You think you want to die, but in reality you just want to be saved.” Sarath wrote this caption under his photo: “I found this quote and I quite like it! You might not be able to tell but I’m in hospital atm with kidney and stomach problems as I tried to take my life last Thursday and Friday. What I have found out is that through text messages, Instagram and phone calls that there are so many people who care and love me and want me to be around forever and that’s the best feeling ever. I can 100% say I will never that happen to me again as I’m going to get help. I do find regular exercise helps me the most and Always has!!! I will have to say the wonderful ZottieDottie is a absolute legend and is doing great things with mental health awareness and getting the word out so everyone knows and understands it’s a sickness. Thank you for being helpful to me, you’re a beautiful human being!! If you feel like you’re in a bad space make sure you get help, I know it’s harder than said but trust me just do it!! #ZottieDottie #SelfieofSupport” Sarath’s sister reached out to me asking what to do/how she could help. I then spoke to a friend who is a psychologist and works at lifeline. Then I spoke to Sarath’s family and msged Sarath and his best mate the day that Sarath went to hospital. It’s certainly something I don’t normally do. Please note I am not a doctor and the time it takes for me to assist someone is too slow seeing as I physically can’t be there so if you or anyone you know is ever in danger please always seek professional medical help. Call the support services listed on, they are on the homepage and they are there for a reason. I’m so glad Sarath you are getting the help you need and that your journey isn’t over. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be anymore hard days, there will be… but I’m so glad that Sarath was able to get the help he needed before it was too late. I do need to point out, my role is purely to assist with people sharing their stories. I am not a doctor. I hope that people always seek help. Please, learn from Sarath, read more below…

A photo posted by Zottie Dottie (@zottiedottie) on

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that suicide “most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition.” In other words, every day, every moment, is different for those who suffer from mental illness and depression, which is why people need to feel it’s safe to talk and reach out when they’re in their deepest despair. 

“When you’re desperate, when you’re in a dark place please, please just take a moment to think,” Rebetzke’s aunt Stacey Heath told the Daily Mail. “You are important, you are loved and you’re very much needed by so many.”

For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans (U.K.). 

Men are sharing selfies to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health
The #ItsOkayToTalk campaign encourages men to vocalize their feelings.
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