The simple question that could save a life

R U OK?: Former paramedic Michael Guillesser's pets give him something positive to focus on each day.
R U OK?: Former paramedic Michael Guillesser's pets give him something positive to focus on each day. Paxton Roth

MICHAEL Guillesser's career as a paramedic left an impression on him that will last a life time.

There were moments of pure joy and others so harrowing they left a permanent imprint on his mind.

"I saw people come in to the world when I helped deliver babies and I held people's hands as they went out of this world so it was a full spectrum of things," Michael said.

"There were some things though unfortunately that I can't forget.

"There were things that nobody should have to see and nobody should have to deal with."

Retired now, the 50-year-old father is sharing his story this R U OK? Day in hope the simple question might save a life.

"As time went on I started feeling depressed about things, remembering lots of these things when I really didn't want to, they become intrusive memories," Michael said.

"I really didn't want to die I just wanted the pain to stop; I just felt so lonely and isolated."

After a colleague noticed a change in Michael's behaviour, he was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

"There can be quite obvious changes or maybe the person knows you fairly well and they get a bit of a niggling gut feeling that things aren't right," he said.

"We can't let people be lonely and isolated; we need to connect with people all the time, we need to get people talking."

Thanks to the love and support of the people around him, Michael's future is looking brighter.

"Those three words changed my life when I thought all hope was lost."

September 14 encourages people to take a moment to ask R U OK? For more information, visit or contact Lifeline on 131114.

On August 25 Michael completed the Bridge to Brisbane raising almost $1000 for R U OK? Day.

To make a donation visit

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