After his business premises burned to the ground, Dr. Jim Skivalidas found himself considering suicide. He could easily have become one of the six men who, each day in Australia, takes his own life. Floods of self-doubt, sense of unworthiness and self-hatred rose to the surface. He found himself thinking: “I’m a disgrace”. He felt full of shame, and his whole identity as provider for his wife and mother, as husband, son, successful health professional and business owner came crashing down around him. He shares with us how he got through it.
The fire turned out to be a catalyst for Jim’s discovery of the strength in vulnerability and allowed him to stop caring what other people thought. He developed the ability to express himself authentically – nothing to hide, no shame, no fear of judgement, and he opens the door for others to do the same.
As the founder of the I’m Just A Man Foundation, raising awareness around suicide and working towards its prevention, Jim draws together his passions – care for others, community and music. He holds an annual event – this year’s online on November 19.
The numbers of people taking their lives is staggering and devastating. It doesn’t have to be like this. Let’s all be aware and be a part of the solution.