There was a bond between Kathy Kelly and Rosie Batty at the Winter Solstice last night.
Not one they would wish upon anyone, but a bond nonetheless. They both have lost a child.
And they both hoped their stories would help the Border community on Friday night.
Despite Rosie Batty being known for her fight against family violence, she said mental health comes with it.
"I have experienced it and more often than not the perpetrator has mental illness," she told The Border Mail.
"So if my story can help just one person I am doing the right thing," she said.
Thursday would have been her son Luke's birthday. He was murdered by his father five years ago. He would have been 17.
But despite it being "a good day" for Ms Batty, she said it is "always hard".
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"Every morning I wake up and feel pain, and every night I go to sleep and feel pain," she said.
Ms Batty spoke about a near death experience she had three years ago in Sydney.
"I was rushing to an appointment and got out of the taxi, flung the door open just as a bus went pass which took the door right off the hinges," she said.
"I didn't know if i was relieved to be alive or sad to be still here," she said. "I didn't intend to take my life but the pain of losing Luke was too much, I wanted something to happen to me to stop that."
For Kathy Kelly, she didn't want to tell the Winter Solstice crowd that everything was ok.
"Because it is not," she said. "And there are a lot of days I think i don't want to be here living without my two sons.
"But we have a daughter, Madeleine, and we have to stay strong not just for her but for the love of our sons."
The anti-violence campaigner and mother-of-three has had more pain than most people can imagine, but by sharing her story she hoped the Border community would be kinder to each other.
Mrs Kelly's oldest son Thomas was killed in Kings Cross from a coward's attack in 2012, four years later her other son, Stuart, took his own life.
"It always sits there, that grief, sitting there under the skin," she said.
"But there is always hope. Stuart couldn't see that tomorrow could be better and brighter.
"The ripple effect of Tom's murder resulted in the death of our other son and many of you here tonight has been affected by mental illness and suicide, but this is the beginning of change."
Steve Willis is most known for his work on The Biggest Loser as the Commando personal trainer.
But there was a tear in his eye when Steve Willis came off the stage at the Winter Solstice.
Because he wasn't stepping off the stage as the Commando.
But as Steve Willis, father, R U OK? ambassador and on Friday night he was a part of the Border community.
"I am human," he said.
"Here i stand as Steve Willis among you all and among the community.
"I'm here for a number of reasons one of those was very evident is that I spent the better of 10 years in the army."
Mr Willis got emotional when speaking to The Border Mail after addressing the crowd and said the power of people can do incredible things.
"Pain, suffering and fear is real and we all know it, but it is not unique and at a time when you are on your own that magnifies," he said.
"But together you are a game changer.
"And without each other we have nothing, I know that, I have four beautiful children, and they are beautiful."
The former TV personality said he was moved by the community event and mental health is an "important conversation" everyone needs to have.
The Winter Solstice, now in its seventh year, once again brought together the Border community with one goal in mind - to shine a light on mental health and suicide.
Host David Astle said the reason the solstice is held every year is "to see the light".
"No matter how dark the abyss may seem, if you find yourself in that space, whatever your situation there is light to come," he said.
"That is the purpose of winter solstice and that is the reason we come."
More than 1000 people braved near freezing conditions to show their support and come together as a community on the longest night of the year
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