Saturday 24 August 2019

Daughter's touching tribute to her Dad who has battled through depression goes viral

"My dad is my hero," says Ellen Wilkie who is pictured here with her father.

Mary McDonnell

A DAUGHTER’S touching tribute to her father who attempted suicide has been shared thousands of times online and has encouraged others to speak out about their own struggles with depression.

Ellie Wilkie (19) from Edinburgh shared the inspiring story of how her father survived an attempt to take his own life and, almost a year after struggling with debilitating mental ill-health, has now been offered a job as a recovery support worker.

Her words have resonated with thousands. A tweet she posted on Wednesday has garnered almost 160,000 likes and was retweeted over 27,000 times.

She told the BBC that her dad Brian suffered with depression after her eldest stepbrother, Jordan passed away in 2014.

She said: "The space in my dad's head became dark. He no longer saw a point to life without Jordan.

"In January my dad attempted suicide in the family home. The effect was devastating, but luckily for us he survived.

"The pain from losing Jordan was still raw but we were strong and held it together as a family.

"Life was hard, a struggle. We kept asking ourselves was he going to do it again? Weren't we good enough for him? I lost my dad that day.

"Since then he has been on the road to recovery. He's turned his life around. He goes to the gym, he's given up alcohol and gives his all to fighting back and helping others."

Ms Wilkie told the broadcaster her dad is her “hero” and she’s been moved to tears by the response.

The tweet has inspired others on the platform to come forward and share their stories.

One user replied: “My year started unfortunately exactly the same as yours and we’re still working through it with my dad. But I am SO happy to hear this for you and your dad, and I know that good things are coming for us.”

Another woman wrote: “So proud of your parents and families for working through this, it’s not easy. I’ve lost a couple family members and friends to suicide and it’s devastating. Sending lots of support and love to your families.”

And a man shared his own story in response, posting: “I suffer very badly with it but family and friends keep me hanging in there. Tell him to do same and congrats!!”

Anyone who has been affected the issues raised in this article can call the Samaritans 24 hour helpline on 116 123, text 087 260 9090, or see their website.

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