A picture of Tammy and her late husband Matthew.
Tammy and Matthew.Image by: Supplied
A picture of Tammy and her late husband Matthew.
A family photo of Tammy and she & Matthew's children.
25 July 2023

Tammy's story: I lost my husband to suicide

Mo Sister
Tammy Rawson
4 minutes read time

Fair warning: The following content touches on some tough stuff, including discussions about suicide.

As I sit here and reflect on my life, I realise how much I have been through and how it has shaped the person I am today. My name is Tammy, and at 41 years old, I am a mother of three beautiful children and have a stepchild who holds a very special place in my heart. Growing up in a small farming town in regional New South Wales, I was surrounded by the beauty of nature and a strong sense of community. But life had its own plans for me, and my path took unexpected turns.

Unexpected turns

After my first marriage ended in divorce, I moved to a different town with my husband, Matthew. We started a small farm together and worked hard to make it thrive. But life can be unpredictable, and sadly I lost my husband to suicide in late May 2022. I was devastated, and the weight of grief pushed me to eventually sell the farm and seek out a fresh start somewhere new.

The power of awareness

Living in a small regional town has its own set of challenges. Everyone knows everyone, and news, both good and bad, spreads quickly. It can be harsh and uncomfortable, especially in the aftermath of a death by suicide, which hit me personally. It opened my eyes to the silent struggles that many face and it alerted me to the importance of mental health awareness, especially for men. In a society where men often feel the pressure to be strong and silent, it becomes essential to encourage open discussions and support.

" Life can be unpredictable. In 2022, I lost my husband to suicide. Movember became an avenue for me to actively participate in fundraising and raise awareness about the importance of mental wellbeing. "

Why I Mo

One cause that deeply resonated with me was Movember – an organisation changing the face of men’s health. I had participated in Movember before, but it wasn't until last year that it held a profound meaning for me. I experienced firsthand the impact of mental health issues and the toll they can take on individuals and their loved ones. Movember became an avenue for me to actively participate in fundraising and raise awareness about the importance of mental well-being.

Fitness for mind and body

In my personal journey, I realized the significance of taking care of our physical and mental health holistically. I set personal fitness goals, such as walking and doing push-ups, to improve my well-being. I encouraged others to start small and gradually work their way up, believing that every small step counts. Mental health is not something that can be resolved overnight, but with a combination of therapy, self-care, and a support system, we can make progress.

Breaking the stigma

My own struggles with mental health made me acutely aware of the need to break the stigma surrounding it. Men often hesitate to seek help, viewing it as a sign of weakness. But I want to change that narrative. Mental health is not a weakness; it's a strength to recognize when something isn't right and take steps to address it. I encourage men to open up, share their feelings, and seek help without fear or shame.

The ripple effect

The impact of mental health goes beyond the individual — it affects families, communities, workplaces, and society. It's a collective responsibility to support one another and create a safe space for conversations about mental wellbeing. By breaking the silence and reaching out, we can make a difference and save lives.

Advocating for change

As I reflect on my own journey, I find solace in the fact that I can use my experiences to raise awareness and advocate for mental health. Through sharing my story, participating in initiatives like Movember, and promoting open dialogue, I hope to reach those who need support and encourage them to seek help. Together, we can create a world where mental health is given the attention it deserves, and no one suffers in silence.


Tammy is an incredible Mo Sister, determined to make a difference by sharing her story and raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

If this story has brought up strong feelings, please consider reaching out for support using these support links. To speak with someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.