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kayleeneil September 13, 2020

Content warning: mention of suicide

For those of you who come across this story in the future, Hannah passed away in April 2020. 

While I only knew Hannah for a few months, her passing was tough for me to process. Hannah was vibrant and colourful, witty and intelligent, kind and considerate. In actuality, she was one of the most brilliant people I have ever met, and I knew she would have gone on to achieve many wonderful things. That's who she was - an avid go-getter, an old soul, and someone who inherently possessed compassion and understanding for her fellow humans. She was also stubborn, firey and argumentative - traits which I admired just as much as her explicit humanity. 

I often come back to this article to remember her strength and resilience in the face of adversity. Before her passing, Hannah was open with her struggles with mental health. As you are all aware, mental health disproportionately affects people from the LGBTQI+ community; 35% of Transgender people aged 18 and over have attempted suicide in their lifetime. By comparison, 3.2% of the general population aged 16 and over have attempted suicide in their lifetime. (source: Hannah tried to get help before her passing, but she was met with many challenges and barriers, evidence of Australia's failing mental health and welfare support systems for struggling young people. The truth is that we, as both individuals, and a collective society, need to do better for the sake of vulnerable people living within our community. While Hannah may have passed, there are others who still live amongst us who don't have to be gone. I wish more people knew you don't have to be someone's best friend to respect them and offer your help. I wish our government understood that suicide is entirely preventable and that it is their duty to provide us with adequate healthcare services. The nature of Hannah's passing will leave me angry for the rest of my life. 

I don't want Hannah just to be another number, because her life meant something. She touched everyone she came across, and my only wish is that she knew the impact she had on me. Rest in peace, Hannah. I hope I will get to see you again someday.