After losing his 22 year-old-son to suicide in 2013, Dr Mark Worthing was compelled to write a book in the hope of helping others who are facing the same loss.
Next week Dr Worthing (BA, M,DIV, STM, DrTheol, PhD) will spend three days in Parkes speaking at various community events on the topics of suicide, depression and mental illness.
“My ‘expertise’ in the area of depression and suicide came about largely through our family’s own tragic experience,” he said.
“I feel much more needs to be said and done to help both those suffering serious depression and suicidal thoughts, and those family and friends who have lost someone to suicide.”
Dr Worthing wrote the book What the Dog Saw about the life and struggle of his son Cedric with mental illness and his eventual suicide.
“It is meant to help people, especially young people, talk about the issue of suicide,” Dr Worthing said.
It is the story of a troubled boy as seen through the eyes of his ageing Labrador, Baxter.
“While there is much that Baxter sees that worries him, there are also moments of humour and joy.”
Hailing from Adelaide, Dr Worthing is a Lutheran Pastor who has a Ph.D in the history of science and is a Doctor of Theology.
He has written a number of books on various academic topics as well as a couple of biographies, including that of Prof Graeme Clark, who invented the bionic ear.
Dr Worthing’s visit is being coordinated by the specially formed Hope To Live And Cope Committee which is made up of Lachlan Area Suicide Prevention Network, Parkes Rotary and Parkes Lutheran Church members.
He will be accompanied on his visit by Dr David Grulke, a pastor for Albury NSW and formerly an Australian military chaplain who specialised in depression and post suicide counselling.
Dr Worthing feels the best way to address issues such as depression, bullying and mental illness, which are major contributors to the tragedy of suicide, is to establish strong community-based networks.
“The establishment of local suicide prevention networks has been one of the most effective and positive developments in recent years to support rural and regional communities.”
You can read the full version of this story on our website.
Dr Mark’s full speaking program is detailed in an advertisement on page 27.