Rob Kent and Brenton Richardson attended the Suicide Prevention Forum at Taree

Telling their stories: Ron Kent and Brenton Richardson attended the Suicide Prevention Forum at Club Taree earlier this month. Photo: Scott Calvin.
Telling their stories: Ron Kent and Brenton Richardson attended the Suicide Prevention Forum at Club Taree earlier this month. Photo: Scott Calvin.

Rob Kent was an alcoholic.

Formerly enlisted in the Australian Army and living in Darwin, Rob attempted to take his own life.

He recalled driving whist intoxicated along the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory at 140 kilometres per hour.

While doing so, he had his eyes closed.

Before he crashed, he woke up and pulled over.

"When I woke up on the side of the road and I hadn't crashed, I realised I needed help and I was able to get help through various different things,” Rob said.

That was 20 years ago. 

Rob is now part of Delhuntie Youth Care, a not-for-profit wilderness based adventure therapy centre based out of Bombah Point (near Bulahdelah).

"We run youth resilience programs, mainly adventure style programs,” Rob said. 

"My life was pretty average back then but nowadays we try to help youth with their own stories.”

Brenton Richardson was addicted to drugs and alcohol.

A helping hand from the youth care team and he was on the straight and narrow.

"I was asked to stay for a couple of days and I never left,” Brenton said.

Brenton has used his story to show those who attend the program about how they can turn their lives around. 

He said that since he began his involvement with the team, many youths have addressed their issues and have recorded their own stories of redemption. 

“We’ve changed a lot of kids that I’ve seen for the better,” Brenton said.

When I woke up on the side of the road and I hadn't crashed I realised I needed help and I was able to get help through various different things.

Rob Kent

He highlighted the importance of spreading the work about suicide prevention.

"It's invaluable to get this information out there because people don't realise that the help and support is there if they need it,” Brenton said.

Rob said despite being a hard conversation, the public should be allowed to speak openly about suicide.

"Suicide used to be something you never talked about.

Attendees at the Suicide Prevention Forum at Taree. Photo: Scott Calvin.

Attendees at the Suicide Prevention Forum at Taree. Photo: Scott Calvin.

"Unfortunately nowadays most of us know someone every month.

"It's in our face and it needs to be in our face,” Rob said.

The duo attended the Suicide Prevention Forum at Club Taree earlier this month.

Lifeline: 13 11 14.