Leeser rolls up sleeves for mental health

Who said politics isn’t glamorous? Newly-elected Berowra MP Julian Leeser and his barrister wife Joanna Davidson rolled up their sleeves and rattled jars to help raise $65,000 for suicide and crisis prevention at Lifeline’s first book fair in Castle Hill.

Around 40,000 books went on sale at Oakhill College, with the MP manning the donations jar at the entrance while Joanna organised books.

Mental health issues are close to Leeser’s heart – in his inaugural speech in Parliament last month he spoke of the immense sadness and pain surrounding his father’s suicide resulting from depression, and the Liberal MP has vowed to fight hard for improved mental health services in his electorate.

His wife Joanna Davidson, a barrister specialising in constitutional law, has her own reasons for working as a volunteer counsellor at Lifeline since 2010.

“A close friend of mine took her own life and that was my motivation to train as a counsellor, to help others feeling overwhelmed. Working at Lifeline I’ve found there’s a constant level of people thinking about suicide – lots of people are very lonely and unable to cope with life.

“Lifeline is about empowering the caller and providing them with the necessary support so that when the call ends they have a place to go or someone to contact to get further help.”

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