Tough Times from the Heart
Brought to you by Tobin Brothers Funerals and SPAN CV

Tobin Brothers Funerals and the Suicide Prevention Awareness Network for Central Victoria (SPAN CV) present Tough Times from the Heart interview series, designed to bring greater awareness to suicide prevention.

3144 Australians died by suicide in 2021.

From the 1st of January to the 30th of September this year, 549 suicide deaths have been reported in Victoria alone.

Although these numbers on their own are far too high, they don’t show the impact suicide has on those who are left behind, and the ripple effect it has throughout our community.

What is also missing in these haunting figures, is the real life stories and lived experiences of those whose lives have been touched by suicide.

Real People. Real Stories.

Tobin Brothers Funerals has partnered with the Suicide Prevention Awareness Network for Central Victoria (SPAN CV) to bring real life stories to light through a series of intimate video interviews, in order to raise community awareness about prevention and the impact of suicide.

Tough Times from the Heart focuses on the lived experience of four individuals who share their incredible stories and insights with journalist and broadcaster Justin Smith.

The series will premiere on December 6th, and videos will be live on this page and on the SPAN CV website.

Starting the conversation

Designed to reduce stigma around suicide and encourage people who are experiencing suicidality and those closest to them to reach out, Tough Times from the Heart is an authentic, confronting, and much-needed insight into the stories behind the statistics.

The videos give viewers insights into the experiences of those dealing with their own suicidality, their loss of loved ones from suicide, and how these experiences are being used to help others see themselves through tough times.


SPAN CV is a suicide prevention network based in Central Victoria, whose key focus is around reducing stigma associated with suicide.

Their aims are to raise community awareness and demystifying suicide and advocate for support, prevention, awareness and education regarding suicide.

Why Suicide?

While a partnership between a funeral service and a suicide prevention organisation may seem like an odd pairing to some, those familiar with Tobin Brothers know their strong commitment to suicide prevention, through initiatives such as #ListenNow.

“Suicide Prevention has been a passionate focus of mine since 1991,” says Tobin Brothers Managing Director James MacLeod. “Working for Tobin Brothers in Canberra one particularly difficult long weekend, I arranged 7 funerals, 6 of them being suicides. It wasn’t right.”

At Tobin Brothers Funerals, we help people to celebrate lives, and guide loved ones through the crucial first stages of loss and grief.

We know all too well that death is inevitable, and we see many different people, who have lived many different lives, and died in many different ways, each and every day.

However, suicide is a preventable death. One which leaves heartbreak and confusion in its wake. As a company committed to serving our community, we feel it is our responsibility to champion this cause and help start the conversation with others.

“We want people to identify with what we are talking about so they can seek assistance. We want to do as much as we can to educate the wider community on mental health,” says James. “Anything we can do to prevent it we will.”

Watch this space

The Tough Times from the Heart video series will premiere on the Tobin Brothers website from the 6th of December 2022, with the videos being released throughout that week until Friday, the 9th.

Feel free to bookmark this page so you can return to it for the premiere or follow us on social media to stay up to date!

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Need to talk to someone?

Lifeline: 13 11 14 or
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or
Headspace: 1800 650 890 or


Alannah McGregor

Alannah McGregor has faced every mother’s nightmare, not once, but twice, losing two of her children to suicide within the space of a month.

She speaks candidly to Justin about how we can not only check in on others, but also how we can handle the conversation going forward and ensure we not only support those at risk of harm, but those who have experienced the death of a loved one from suicide.

Watch the preview of Alanna's story below:

To view the full interview with Alannah, please watch the video below:

Jed Zimmer

Growing up in regional Bendigo, Jed Zimmer was a keen footy player and one of the lads, but behind closed doors, Jed battled with crippling anxiety. Jed thought talking about his issues would make him seem weak but in fact, it was how he found the strength to go on.

Watch the preview of Jed's story below:

To see Jed's full interview, check out the video below:

Warren Davies

Warren Davies might seem like your average Australian farmer, but his inspiring story of resilience, persistence, and determination, has led to him becoming known as ‘The Unbreakable Farmer’.

Preview Warren's story here:

Watch Warren's interview below: 

Dr Skye Kinder

Growing up watching her own father having to travel from Bendigo to Melbourne for specialist treatments, Dr Skye Kinder became an advocate for patients in rural areas of Australia.

Knowing all too well the challenges faced by people accessing and navigating support services for mental health issues, Dr Kinder highlights the importance of seeking help sooner, rather than later, while things are more manageable.

Watch the preview of Dr Skye's story below:

See Dr Skye's full video: