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Glowing Endorsement by leading Australian Doctor, Professor Stephen Gatt

Stuart O’Neill’s  JUST  ONE  REASON

This tiny book… and gold coin… and wrist band… represent, for me, the first ever immediate device outside of ‘a chat over a cuppa’ which can significantly impact on the terrible toil on our youth taken by the scourge of suicide.

As an intensive care specialist with forty years’ experience in managing botched up attempts at suicide and near (and not so near) suicide attempt victims, I have come firmly to the conclusion that the bulk of these attempts have little to do with chronic mental illness and more with ‘impulsiveness’, that sudden ‘need’ to end it all and rid oneself of being a burden to others.  Many have no recollection of the event after they recover from their, often horrendous, injuries.  Most are remorseful of putting everyone to so much trouble.

Suicide revolves around feelings of loss of self-worth, of loathing for life, of hopelessness, of ‘insurmountable’ debt (often a paltry few hundred dollars) and inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That... and an impulsive temperament to stop the pain quickly and efficiently.  Sometimes, these intrusive thoughts are aggravated by catastrophising, of thinking that all is going badly all the time and of making mountains out of molehills.  Most are youngsters with not a great depth of interpersonal support – university students away from home, international travellers, those with internal conflicts (eg gender identity, sexuality), gambling and the biggest of all, debt.   I should know.  At age 25, my favourite brother, 10 months younger than I, ended his life by blowing his brains out for, to me, no good reason.  He was a risk taker, gregarious and outgoing and had no psychiatric history and did not abuse illegal substances.  He was taking a few tablets of Doloxene for headache; a medication which has since been banned, in all countries except South Africa and France, because it causes suicidal ideation as a side-effect.

This book goes straight to the heart of the problem.  It slows down, using a variety of immediately available devices, the imperative of immediacy and introduces to those wishing to end their existence the seed that there may be One Reason why suicide is a poor option and that there are other choices.  I wish my brother had the tiny book in his breast pocket and his coin-in-a-box in his trouser pocket.  I am convinced that he would be here with us if someone, including me, had the vision to give him these great tools.

The content of the pocket sized ‘book’ is mostly written by the ‘victim’ in the empty pages so it is eternally ‘personalisable’.  The coin, which is infernally difficult to get out of its polycarbonate shell, acts as both a talisman and a delaying tactic.  Both devices give a flicker of hope in the blindness of grief and ‘madness’ of wanting out from society regardless of consequences. 

Stuart O’Neill has been very clever in transmitting to others what worked in practice for him.  It takes someone who has been through the fire more than once to devise a plan as cheap, smart and simple as this.  When at the pointy end of ‘doing the deed’ there is no time for referral to the best psychiatrist in town or to calling the psychology team for an appointment.

Just One Reason (for not committing suicide right now... in this place… using these means…) by looking for One Reason to not commit suicide, to give life another try, to choose another plan, to find a better choice and to see that there is hope also empowers those around these people in the depths of their despair by being able to throw them a cheap safety line.  Handing One Reason and the Coin and wearing the wrist bands expresses in the language of the 2020s, that here is a buddy, a family member, an acquaintance, a school mate, a mentor, a partner who cares and is happy to offer support and to walk a short way along the journey out of pain, loss and despair.

Much like defibrillators in shopping centres and places of worship, these tools should be readily available in bulk everywhere… to teachers, to careers advisors, to youth groups, to counsellors and pastors, to mental health practitioners, to tertiary education facilities, to worksites and hospitals…

This is a book straight from the horse’s mouth.  It has not been written by some highfalutin academic professor of psychiatry but by one who understands suicide up close and personal.  We should all carry a copy in our First Aid Kit. 

Stuart O’Neill, Just One Reason is simply brilliant.  ‘It gets it’ and attacks suicide in its weak underbelly… that suicide and denying yourself of ever making another choice, ever, is never the solution.  We are deeply indebted for your insightful offering, to the people of our state and to all those who have lost all hope, a great resource.

At last, a ray of real practical wisdom towards ending suicide.  A tool that actually works rather than weak platitudes and the application of depression labels to the distressed.  JOR will save many lives. - Well done.


Stephen Gatt,

Professor, Anestesi e Reanimasi, Udayana University, Bali

Associate Professor, Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, University of New South Wales.

Listen to Review by Ambulance officer Canada

Listen to Ambulance Officer Review

Hi, I'm Jim Boyd for 37 years I was an ambulance paramedic. I saw an awful lot of depression and suicide.
Today I direct a public safety group that provides teenagers with life safety and wellness education. Our task force studies ways to provide effective supports to those who are suffering from depression, and substance abuse. Things that often go hand in hand.
When we were sent a copy of Just One Reason to review, I felt that we had struggled in the fight to help people who are thinking about suicide. I called on many experts in PTSD, and mental health throughout North America asking them to review Just One Reason.
I believe in this little book. It is not intended to provide proper medical support, but it is an effective tool to provide support to those who are hurting.
For my colleagues in the EMS, fire service, and policing who are under stress like never before... I encourage them to read this book.
I've studied mental health for over 40 years and I have yet to see anything, like Just One Reason. It is plain talk. It shoots from the hip. There's no medical or psych jargon. It fits in a shirt pocket or a purse. The cover is plain. It gives no clue as to its contents. So there's no reason for concern that others may know what you're reading.
Readers may wish to give this book to their colleagues and crisis, to a friend or a family member who's depressed and perhaps having thoughts of harming themselves.
The work was created for any mature person, not just responders.
This little book is pure gold. Whatever we can do to provide someone from taking their own life we should do.
Thanks for listening.
J. Gordon Boyd CEO, FRONTLINE Task Force on Public Safety.
37 years Ambulance officer Canada
Listen to Testimonial by a grateful reader
A grateful reader shares the impact of the Just One Reason book on her.
Hi Stuart, I have been working with an elderly gentleman from Conjola who lost everything in the Currowan Fires. We suggested he attend the dinner that you were a guest speaker at the Bowling Club. He spoke very highly of you and your presentation and showed me your book ''Just One Reason''. He really took alot away from your story - so thank you for your time and your presentation... your book is opened often with many words of wisdom to move forward.." thanks again.
Sally B
South Coast NSW
This little book is an absolute delight! I have such good feedback from people I have given it to. One in particular resonates with me as a clinical nurse consultant in my role as Towards Zero Suicides Rural Counsellor 'I've just realised this book is my safety plan' Exactly what our people need and I know precisely what Stuart’s aim is.
Terri Rowe
Clinical Nurse Consultant 2, Towards Zero Suicides Rural Counsellor, NSW Health
Suicide has become an increasingly frightening epidemic, especially in American law enforcement; officers, overwhelmed by organizational, societal, legal, and financial abandonment or consequences of their sacred profession, are turning to the "final solution" to rid themselves of the guilt, pain and, perhaps, becoming a burden to their families if involved in a high-profile incident precipitating civil unrest, personal lawsuits, and even arrest and imprisonment on unfounded criminal charges.

Stuart's book, Just One Reason , provides a straightforward explanation as to why suicide is a misguided option, and provides an initial roadmap for re-assessment of their situation. Along with professional evaluation and intercession, the afflicted can develop pathway forward from hopelessness and despair, to promise and a reason to live – for their friends, family but, most importantly, themselves.

The book is well-written and compact (it can fit in a shirt pocket), with space for personal notes and reflection; it should be issued to all sworn law enforcement either upon graduation from the academy, or as part of ongoing mental self-care awareness training.
Dr. Chris Cappannelli
30-Year U.S. Law Enforcement Professional and Consultant
Rarely does a book come packaged in this way, providing minute by minute inspiration and advice on how to find “Just One Reason to Live” for those who are suffering depression or having thoughts of suicide.
I highly recommend that people read and share this wonderful true life story and guide to finding real inner peace!
Families, educators, responders, chaplains and practitioners everywhere will benefit from JUST ONE REASON.
J. Gordon Boyd
CEO, FRONTLINE Task Force on Public Safety. 37 years Ambulance officer Canada
Just One Reason is a game changer in a very traumatic space!
Walter Mikac
This book contains a powerful message: in moments of crisis, turn your focus to searching for and holding on to ‘your’ one reason to stay safe.
Eva Ritter
Volunteer mental health phone counsellor
In the weeks since my suicide attempt, I have had more ups and downs than a yo-yo. I have struggled to see the point of it all.
Why am I here? What am I doing this for? Should I just end this pain? It has been so hard, so hard to choose to stay.
Then, I received the book you gifted me and read it cover to cover. It has given me something to think about. To reflect on. To use to get me through some very dark times.
That night, just a few weeks ago, I put my family through hell. My daughter called me. She is my pride and joy and has always been my reason for staying.
But that night, even she wasn’t enough. That night, I told her I couldn’t stay, it is just too dark.
I will have to carry that horrible memory with me, as will she, forever.
So, I want to thank you, Stuart, for your book Just One Reason. I am so grateful you shared your story and created this tool.
This book is a guide through the tough times. I know it has and will continue to save lives.
Once I am back on my feet and able, I will be sharing this lovely book with others. My hope is I will be a small part of saving even one life.
This book is a practical tool designed to resonate with the young man who is enduring his darkest hour. I believe that it will help him pull through.
Dr Scott Pearson
General Practitioner B Med, MD, DCH, FRACG
Hi Stu, I just read your book. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my dad to suicide 10 years ago... a toolkit like this could have saved his life. This book could have given me and my family some tools to open up the conversation about his depression and focusing on ‘just one reason’... rather than him falling deeper into his darkness.
E. Stone
What a Huge little big this is!
B Goldman
NSW, Australia
Most people find writing very therapeutic but don’t get around to actually doing it. Having the book right there in your pocket removes that barrier, it’s so good and I highly recommend it to anyone suffering with their mental health.
Sarah Radford
Mental Health Support Worker
I received my little book today and it is so recommended for anyone who has gone through suicide thoughts and really just want to give up but after reading the book it is very powerful and will definitely be going everywhere with me
C Oneill
Review Just One Reason on Good Reads
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