“We have handled the topic with delicacy, utmost respect and with love,” Sally-Anne said. “Our motto for We Need To Talk is ‘We need to love and take care of each other, share our love and care with those around us’. I believe and have learnt that sometimes you just need someone to be kind to you at the right time, and that kindness in itself has the ability to turn a life around.”
Sally-Anne took a year to write We Need To Talk, carefully choosing every word for clarity and understanding for the intended age group — she spent six hours rewriting one paragraph alone until she was completely happy with it — and spoke to those affected by suicide and mental illness. “I noticed along the way that everyone spoke from love, whether they were a suicide attempt survivor or a family member or friend of someone who has mental illness. At the core of every story was love — that was quite an ‘aha’ moment because society paints suicide and mental health issues with negativity, which I feel comes from misunderstanding.
“We want readers of the book to keep the thought in their minds that no matter how bad or dark life can be at times, we want them to remember to hold on, choose to stay, that nothing would be the same if they didn’t exist, that life does and will change, but most importantly to always choose to stay in life. Even when it feels like they’re holding on by a thread, staying is worth it.”
We Need To Talk is available from Amazon, or visit badhatfilms.com.au/publishing/
FOOTNOTE: Parts of this novel are confronting, so both Sally-Anne and David urge any reader who might be upset to reach out for support. Phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 224 636, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.