John Brogden recognised for commitment to mental health issues





John Brogden recognised for commitment to mental health issues

John Brogden - AM

Commitment to life: John Brogden.

Commitment to life: John Brogden. Photo: Andrew Quilty

On a desperate night in August 2005, the then leader of the NSW Liberal Party, John Brogden, wanted to die. The ambitious opposition leader, who took over the reins of the party at just 33 after entering politics at 27, had reached crisis point and had no idea how to keep living. So he made the decision to stop.

But his suicide attempt after suffering for years, probably since his teens, with undiagnosed depression failed. That fateful night in his Pittwater electoral office marked the beginning of a new life for him and his family.

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Brogden's commitment to mental health has earned him a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours list for service to social welfare, particularly to Lifeline, which he chairs.

His honour also recognises his service to the business and financial sectors - he was chief executive of Manchester Unity for two years and now runs the Financial Services Council - and to NSW Parliament.

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Brogden was inspired to work with Lifeline when he hit rock bottom after the events of 2005.

His resurrection from those dark days are behind him but he has repeatedly ruled out a return to politics. ''People who think they can't come back from a difficult time should know you can have second chances,'' he said.







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