firstname.lastname@example.org (Sophie Bateman)
A dad-of-four took his own life after Australia’s coronavirus lockdown sent him into a spiral of depression.
David McCreadie, 56, had already been struggling with his mental health since June last year but had begun to improve thanks to trips to the country and the beach as well as going for long walks.
Sadly things took a turn for the worse when the pandemic hit Melbourne earlier this year as David was unable to do the outdoor activities that had helped him stay healthy.
He and his wife Felicity married in 2007, and David ran a successful construction business for more than 13 years.
But in 2019, he ran into financial strife after clients failed to pay up and he found himself in debt for the first time in his life.
He attempted suicide in June, but his mental health gradually recovered thanks to the help of his family and trips away from home.
“He was doing okay,” Felicity told the Daily Mail.
“We let go of the money that was lost and we moved on but when lockdown started that was it… my husband changed.”
After struggling early in the pandemic, Victoria was able to relax some restrictions but had to go back into lockdown in July after a new wave of infections broke out.
Residents were only permitted to leave their homes for work, essential shopping or caregiving. A curfew was in place between 8pm and 5am and road blocks were set up to prevent travel outside of a 5km radius.
David, now struggling financially as well as emotionally, was unable to cope. His business never recovered and the family’s landlord hounded them for rent payments despite the economic toll of the pandemic.
“It contributed to his mental health, It contributed to his stress and there was no relief,” Felicity said.
He was receiving constant calls and legal threats from creditors up until October 16, when he took his own life.
Tragically, border closures meant his son Jaxom, 24, has been unable to travel to Melbourne for a funeral.
David was highly regarded in the local Bayside community, even considered a hero to many for his ‘extraordinary generosity’ and charity work.
Along with Felicity, he donated hundreds of meals and essential supplies left in ruin during the summer bushfire crisis.
Felicity has chosen to have David cremated on their wedding anniversary on October 27, and intends to give him “the farewell he deserves” once lockdown restrictions have been eased.
The heartbroken widow believes overly harsh measures from the government contributed to David’s death, and is sharing his story to raise awareness of those whose mental health has taken a hit under lockdown.
“I have to stand up and be counted for my husband’s name and I am not letting this go,” she said.
“[Victoria’s premier] Daniel Andrews needs to see. I have a 12-year-old boy whose life has changed forever.
“I would like to tell them my story. I would like to look them in the eye.”
David leaves behind four sons — Edward, Jaxom, Hamish and Oscar. A fundraiser set up on behalf of the family has already raised more than $ 19,000 (£10,300).
Of Australia’s 27,499 recorded coronavirus cases, 20,330 came from within Victoria. The state is also responsible for 817 of the country’s 905 deaths.
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