Like many teenagers in my local area, my son heard about Josh Gill's tragic death in a stranger's burning car pretty soon after it happened. With mutual friends and a bit of knowledge about Josh's mental health and addiction issues, my son, also aged just 14, was sad and confused and asked me why it had been so difficult to help him get better.
I didn't have an answer.
Desperate parents with troubled kids is not a new story, and I had too many experiences with beautiful young people who couldn't be helped when I, too, was young.
But - although I will never forget those teenagers that should still be here today - that was more than two decades ago. Has anything really changed?
We seem to be having exactly the same conversations, all these years later. Not enough - or zero - mental health beds in hospitals, particularly for young people. Parents forced to get their kids sectioned in order to get them the help they so badly need. Police forced to lock up kids with serious health issues, because no other option exists. Kids getting bounced between disconnected health services, put in the too hard basket, made to feel there is no solution, that they are a burden.
There are still too many of our young with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues who are unable to get proper rehabilitative care or help from a stretched health system, and who are misunderstood by a society and structure with not enough tools or education to comprehend their ailments.
I'm in awe of Josh's parents, speaking up so bravely about their incomprehensible loss.
Josh, they told us, was "a great little man, very kind and sensitive, very concerned about the world".
My son tells me he was very well liked and his death left a lot of Sydney's northern beaches kids devastated.
His dad Andrew said: "I'm determined to use all my guilt and grief to make sure good comes out of a very horrible situation and I think my little man would want that too. I know he would.
"As a society and parent we want to try and keep those people alive, and it's on my watch, I'm his Dad and I didn't do that so I've got to live with that."
I truly hope he is heard, and can make a difference. Our young people really need it.
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