NEVER FORGOTTEN: Amanda McCasker was inspired to run for a seat at the Livingstone council table to push for improved mental health services after her son Anthony committed suicide almost two years ago.
NEVER FORGOTTEN: Amanda McCasker was inspired to run for a seat at the Livingstone council table to push for improved mental health services after her son Anthony committed suicide almost two years ago.

The tragic loss of her son drives candidate’s council bid

AMANDA McCasker swore the suicide of her beloved 17-year-old son Anthony would not be in vain.

Now it is the driving force behind the Kanga Bins co-owner's run for a seat at the Livingstone council table.

Ms McCasker is determined to push for improved mental health services in the new shire.

She has started a group called the Next Step with plans to go into schools and teach children about self-confidence and depression.

Ms McCasker said Anthony, who grew up wanting to make a difference in the world by becoming a police officer, would have wanted her to tell his story.

She said Anthony was sexually abused by a non-family member as a child and was later plagued by the knowledge that his alleged abuser never faced justice.

Although Anthony had counselling as a child and was again seeing a counsellor, the apprentice mechanic gassed himself in his red Commodore near his family's home.

The family buried him at Springsure, near his grandfather.

Ms McCasker said after years of living on a property and as a former president of Springsure's Queensland Country Women's Association, she was still a country girl at heart.

The family have lived in the Livingstone region for a decade and Ms McCasker joked their Nankin acreage was the closest her husband Peter would ever get her to living near a beach or near town.

She said she wanted to ensure the rural region would have their say.

Ms McCasker believes it is time to accept de-amalgamation and band together as a community.

"The whole idea of a community is that you work together," she said. "It's about bringing back family values."

 

If you are suffering from depression or battling mental health issues you can call:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36



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