Two years ago Olivia Mones was on the way to a double date with her new boyfriend of six months. The young couple was in the honeymoon period.
They were in the car with the other couple on the way to get pizza when her phone rang. It was her uncle — which was a bit weird because he didn't usually call her.
"My uncle said, 'Your dad has been found dead in his car. He killed himself'," Olivia recalls.
"I just kept saying, 'What do you mean?' He kept having to repeat it over and over."
The news came as a complete shock to the now 27-year-old Australian, but she has since learned her dad struggled with mental health issues for much of his life, keeping it hidden from his six children, who range in age from eight to 29.
"The last time I saw him, which was about a week before, he seemed like he had lost weight, and I felt something was wrong, but he just said he was going through a few problems," Olivia recalls.
"I never ever thought it would end like that."
Michael, who was 53 at the time of his death, was raised by a "strong strict Greek father", and Olivia believes that may have had something to do with "how he felt he had to be as a man".
"I think a lot of men feel like they have to take care of everyone, especially as a father, and that it's not acceptable for them to be vulnerable and need help," she says.
Her father split from her mum when Olivia and her sister and brother were young. He went on to remarry and had three other primary-school-aged children at the time of his death.
"My grandma is still alive — for her it was shocking and confronting. At her age she wasn't expecting to bury a child," Olivia says.
Not long after her father's death, Olivia became involved with the Movember campaign to help raise awareness of men's mental health issues and speak about the toll suicide can take on those left behind.
"I never want anyone else to go through what my family has been through," she says.
"I want to tell my story because maybe someone else will read it and think, 'I'm a dad, I don't want things to get to that stage', or maybe someone else will read it and think, 'I should check in on my dad'.
"Before this happened, I honestly never considered men killing themselves, which I know sounds horrible. I knew that mental illness was a big thing, but if you had asked me then if it was men or women who it affected more, I would have said women. But now I've looked into it and they say of every eight people who commit suicide in Australia, five of them are men. Now I think about it and it makes sense. It's no wonder they don't feel like they can talk when they're feeling low. They're told to man up, take care of their family, don't cry like a girl. It's important for women to tell men that it's fine to cry and to talk about how they're feeling.
"My dad never cried. He just kept it all in. The only time I really saw my dad cry was years and years ago when he and his wife had a stillborn child. He cried at her funeral. Other than that I don't really remember him crying. It made him so uncomfortable. When we cried as kids, he'd say, 'Stop crying, stop crying'. He just wasn't comfortable with the emotion."
The repercussions in Olivia's life are still presenting themselves. While she pushed through with her job in fashion for a spell, she eventually had to quit to take time to deal with her father's death.
"Mentally, I wasn't okay anymore and it started to affect my physical health as well. I felt sick all the time," she said.
It also had an enormous impact on her relationship with her partner, Evan.
"My relationship was really up and down but it's settled now. I'm not the person I was when we met. And to a certain extent he hasn't changed. But I have. And that's been really, really hard," Olivia says.
Thankfully, they stuck together and will be married in November.
"That's been a big rollercoaster … the joy of getting engaged but also knowing I won't have my dad there," she says.
Olivia's brother will walk her down the aisle, and the ceremony will have moments that honour her father.
"It's emotional knowing dad doesn't know what is going on in my life. There's so much that's happening in all our lives that he will never know. We'll have kids and they won't know their grandfather," Olivia says.
She says she has gone through stages of both anger and sadness.
"Sometimes I'm just so sad for him. He was my friend. We had a great friendship. He was upset and sad and he didn't know what to do. If I had known he was carrying so much I wish I could have taken some of it off him. It must have been so tiring carrying all that responsibility when he felt like that," Olivia says.
"When I think about my dad now, I wish I had spoken to him more. I wish I had gotten to know his story. Now he's gone, I can never ask him."
Olivia describes her father Michael as "funny, charming, and a total show pony".
"He was the loudest person in the room. And I now think the loudest person in the room seems to be the person who hurts the most. Sometimes it's a front to cover things up, which shows you need to check in on everyone, even if they seem like they have it all together," she says.
While she says losing a parent is difficult in any circumstance, suicide is particularly hard.
"It makes you feel like you're not good enough for your parent to stay. It brings out the voice of your inner child — 'but they left me'. We had already dealt with that once when my parents divorced and it just brings that feeling up all over again," Olivia says.
"My dad was a beautiful dad. He loved his kids. Being a dad was his favourite thing. Then when it comes to the end, you think, 'If you loved us so much, why didn't you think of us?' It just shows how powerful (depression) can be."
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202