In the three years before she died, Mary Baker did not once pick up any food by herself and eat it.
Her parents, Annette and Stuart, took her morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to school.
"It must have been exceptionally demeaning to have to walk across the playground with other kids knowing what was going on," Stuart recalls.
"She would come and sit with us, ate what we had for her and that was the pattern; she just couldn't do it by herself."
The Bakers - Net, Stu and their children Jack, Henri, and Mary - had "a really idyllic family life".
Mary, "wonderful and loving", enjoyed school and was a natural athlete; horses were her "main passion".
That changed almost overnight in her first year of high school when she came home one day with a sore mouth.
The dentist suggested a root canal filling in Melbourne.
"Coming out of the dentist it was like a switch," Annette says.
"Mary went from eating to pretty much no recognition that food was something that was needed."
The 12-year-old spent a week in Albury hospital on a feeding tube before being sent to the Royal Children's in Melbourne for two months.
"It was tough to see her in an eating disorder ward," Stuart says.
Mary eventually returned home - re-fed but not recovered.
"We didn't know we were actually treating a mental illness per se, just an eating disorder," Stuart says.
"The conventional wisdom was you just had to keep feeding but we didn't ever seem to get to the core of the problem."
The devastating details of the family's journey into the abyss of Mary's illness forms the core of Solstice, a film by Helen Newman.
In the early hours of one Tuesday morning in March, 2011, Stuart woke and didn't go straight back to sleep.
"I saw Mary's light go on and off for a second and didn't think any more about that," he recalls.
He went to work early for a meeting and was told there had been a suicide on the freeway.
In that moment something dawned on him and he rang Annette to see if Mary was in her room ... she wasn't.
"I think it is all the what ifs; how could we have saved her," Annette says in the film.
"You're numb and heartbroken and just so wound up with grief that it consumes your day," Stuart describes.
The family still search for signs, something that could have helped them save Mary.
The only clues are in her writing, in a compelling anthology she wrote for a Year 9 English assignment.
"I think perhaps for Mary the loneliness was never being able to articulate her depression," Annette says.
The family's pain was compounded by the lack of support for those left behind by suicide; instinctively they knew there must be so many others, so many hurting in silence.
Mary's death became the catalyst for The Border Mail's 'Ending the Suicide Silence' campaign in August 2012, which won this newspaper two Walkley Awards for "leadership of the highest order" and helped secure a headspace centre for the region.
Professor Patrick McGorry says the campaign helped show "what happens when you lose a family member, the consequences of suicide and the power of community support".
Annette was galvanised to launch an event for survivors of suicide.
The Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice, launched in 2013, has grown to become an important community event to shine a light on the subject of suicide and mental illness - without shame or stigma.
Professor McGorry is adamant it should be replicated in every community in Australia.
The former Australian of the Year, who has worked in mental health for more than 40 years, is frustrated by the "muffled conversation" that persists around suicide.
"We are able to talk about mental health issues much more freely, about anxiety and depression ... like everyone's trying to talk about it really.
"But we don't talk about suicide," he said during a Q&A following the screening of Solstice on November 22.
"We've got to get over that."
When modelling by Ian Hickie's team pointed to an increased risk of suicide as a result of COVID-19 and the economic recession, Professor McGorry says many colleagues labelled it "alarmist" and didn't want it published.
"You wouldn't see that with the virus; people wanted to know what the predictions were so they could act to save lives," he says.
"But somehow in mental health we didn't want to know about it even though action is even more important because our (mental) health system is so bargain basement."
Professor McGorry has sat with too many bereaved families; 14,000 people have died by suicide in Australia in the past five years.
"This is why the wonderful things that have happened in this community thanks to Stuart and Annette, The Border Mail and everyone who's got behind them are so important ... it's shown it's safe to talk about it.
"And the leadership the community needs to show can help save lives."
It is only in "normalising" conversations around mental health that better care can be delivered, according to Stuart, who joins the professor on the board of advocacy group Australians For Mental Health.
"It's taken for granted if you have a physical health issue you get treatment and you're not judged," he says.
Professor McGorry says only 10 per cent of people who have clinical depression get access to evidence-based care.
"We are losing people every single day who have desperately tried to get help and have been turned away or been provided with very inadequate help," he says.
Overcoming stigma and changing the way mental health services are delivered can't happen with a single campaign or a single story, advocates agree.
Helen Newman sees Solstice as a tool that can be used to empower not only individuals, but communities and policy-makers to drive change at the highest levels of government.
It starts with one brave voice speaking into the silence, one voice that swells to become a chorus so loud it cannot be ignored.
That turns a "muffled" conversation into a roar.
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