Losing His Mate To Suicide Inspired This Aussie’s Mental Health Initiative

This article talks about mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety, in detail. If it triggers anything for you please call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 for 24/7 counselling, or Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are in crisis.

One in four people are, or will at some point in their life be, suffering from a mental health challenge. Out of those, 75% aren’t seeking help. It’s a heartbreaking statistic, unfortunately accompanied by more figures difficult to hear. Every 30 seconds someone is attempting to take their own life. Eight people will die from suicide a day, in Australia alone.

24-year-old Dwayne Lally became part of that statistic four years ago. His best mate since primary, Sam Webb, told PEDESTRIAN.TV that everyone was surprised by his passing.“From the outside looking in, he had it all – he had a great life, family life was amazing, life of the party, very blokey, fun to be around.”

Sam says that on the night of September 15, 2013 Dwayne opened up to him. “I thought I’d listened as best as I possibly could. I thought I said everything I possibly could’ve said, from someone who had struggled, and I openly shared that with him that night,” Sam explained.

“He reassured me that everything was gonna be alright and that he’s not suicidal and he’s not in a bad place right now, that things are great and that he’d always reach out to me.”

That night was the last time Sam saw Dwayne before he took his own life.

“I didn’t want to believe it. I felt like it was my fault. I have my own mental health challenges. How come someone so close to me, opened up to me, and I still couldn’t save their life? Why couldn’t I help them? What did I do wrong? What did I say wrong? What didn’t I do right?”

When Dwayne passed, Sam knew he had to do something – something that would facilitate the conversation around mental health, so that people had the chance to pick their lives back up, or enable others to help them do so.

That same year, Sam created ‘Livin’, a mental health initiative in honour of Dwayne which you can find out more about below:

A true legend.

Want to know more about this powerful project? Keep reading to get around Livin’s four-year journey to this point.


A lot of my motivations around what I do is to give back to him and to his family for what had happened, because this is a ripple effect and it tears people’s lives apart. You can’t even put a number on it. There are thousands of people who have been affected by one life, so you can imagine how many Dwaynes there are in this world that have their families and their loved ones who are suffering because they’ve lost someone that they love. 


I didn’t expect to be here in four years time, where we are today. This is a community-based organisation and we want to be the people’s organisation. We want to connect with communities at all levels because without them, we wouldn’t exist. In a perfect world, Livin wouldn’t exist, but we live in a world where mental health incidences are on the rise and and mental health-related issues are on the rise. 


The beauty of this is, it gives people access to be able to create that conversation that they wouldn’t normally have. A lot of that [the money that’s made from Livin Apparel] goes back into supporting education programs and keeping Livin on its way to achieving its mission.

Without people wearing our merch we wouldn’t have any source of income, really, because we don’t have government funding or anything. We rely heavily on the purhcasing of merchandise to support our fundraising initiatives, as well as a lot of cool events in the community and workplace that help raise money for us.


Livin’s been really really lucky to have some good traction from a profile side. We’ve got a good friend Charlie who works on set of some of the biggest films at Movie World on the Gold Coast – he was wearing his Livin merch one day to set and he had pretty much all the crew in Livin merch and Chris Hemsworth, who was the lead actor on the set of Thor was like, ‘What’s this Livin all about?’ So he got Charlie over to have a chat and he was like, ‘I’d love to get my hands on some. I love the cause, it’s close to my heart. I’d love to help support in any way, shape or form that I can.’

We’ve been very grateful. He wears it with pride and he’s worn it multiple occasions. It does take some profiles to make this really get traction and make a change, cause you can imagine if he’s got 6-10 million people that follow him on socials and stuff, and he’s supported a cause of mental health which is to taboo, if he’s talking about it and he’s embracing it and endorsing it, it will give other people permission to embrace it if they’re struggling.


My biggest learnings from starting Livin would without a doubt be the ‘Triple P’ that I live by every single day.

1. Keeping positive – you’re going to have a lot of setbacks, things that don’t go your way but it’s about remaining positive, having a positive team in your corner. 
2. Being patient – things don’t happen overnight. It can take a long time, it can take longer than you expect. 
3. Third and one of the most important ones is being persistent. If you really want something and you’re passionate about it, go after it. There might be more than one way to do that and if you’re ever in doubt, just reach out and ask. Reach out.

If you or someone else needs support in a crisis situation please call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 for 24/7 counselling.