Tragic suicide yet another reminder of the hidden mental health epidemic in Australia

Murder-suicide dad was just a normal bloke

THE man who drove off a wharf in South Australia, killing himself and his two young children, was just a normal Aussie bloke, distraught community members say.

It’s with great sadness that I bring this news to the attention of my readers, yet I feel it is absolutely essential to raise the awareness of the plight of many families as we head into 2016.

The bodies of Damien Little and Hunter, aged one, and four-year-old Koda were recovered from the water off a Port Lincoln wharf on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia on Monday.

Police confirmed the man deliberately drove off the wharf and into 30 metres of water.

“It’s just a shocking thing to have happen out of the blue and for no reason that we knew of,” Wheatsheaf Hotel owner Peter Watherston said on Tuesday.

South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Michael O’Connell urged people not to rush to blame Mr Little.

“This tragic, heart-wrenching incident has caused a great deal of anguish for family, kinfolk and those who knew them, but also to many who find murder by a parent to be among the cruellest of tragedies,” he said.

“As people seek to come to terms with what has happened, they should be careful not to victim-blame.

“We do not know the reasons Damien did what he appears to have done and speculating does nothing to assist the family nor the people of Port Lincoln.”

Hundreds of tributes have been left to the children on social media.

Locals have also placed flowers and teddy bears on the edge of the wharf.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78

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