The family of Brisbane performer Jamie Wood have urged those struggling to reach out for help after the 31-year-old died by suicide at the weekend.
Jamie tragically died in the early hours of Sunday at his Bowen Hills home after a long battle with his mental health.
The passionate dancer and performer worked for several years on concert tours and cruise ships, losing that work due to the pandemic.
Jamie’s family said he was still performing in Brisbane at Fluffy’s Nightclub and had started a barbering apprenticeship.
Sister Samantha Wood told The Courier-Mail her brother lit up every room and “truly seemed to be the happiest guy”.
“He was constantly motivating and uplifting everyone else,” she said.
Samantha said Jamie had suffered “many knocks” but “he would keep getting back up on his feet.”
“The exact same night that he ended his life, he called my mum and was so excited about his new life and moving into his new apartment,” she said.
“He had the whole place made up how he wanted it, very Zen. He was just so excited to go on a new journey with his barbering.
“That’s why it has come at such a shock.
“[This] happened within hours of him having those conversations with my mum.”
She said six months ago, Jamie Wood was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, after previous admissions to hospital for mental health-related issues.
His close family wish Jamie had not felt like he was alone on Sunday morning.
They’re urging anyone else who’s struggling to reach out for help, including to family or friends.
“I would beg people to keep calling any resource you can that will speak with you,” Samantha Wood said.
“Call a friend. If they don’t pick up, call another friend.
“Because it has had the most humongous impact and I can’t imagine my life without my brother.
“It’s been two days since Jamie’s passing and I’ve only just now been able to tell my nine-year-old son, and Jamie’s poor nephew just broke down crying.”
Friends share powerful tributes after death of Jamie Wood
Friends took to social media to shares moving tributes to Jamie Wood, describing him as a “bright star” who’ll be “truly missed by so many people.”
Tyler Gadson said Jamie was “deeply loved and greatly missed.”
“You were honestly a big brother that I never wanted but needed in my life,” he wrote.
“I’m glad I got to share some of the best moments of my life with you.
“I wish I got to see you and hug you one more time.”
Ben Rhodes wrote, “I’ll miss your smile and the way you made me feel special and worthy of love even when I didn’t believe it myself.
“I’m sure I’ll see you again one day. Until then I’ll live my life as authentically and unapologetically as you did.”
Michelle Berka also paid tribute to her “beautiful friend” Jamie.
“If only you could have seen just how bright your star shone for the rest of us,” she wrote.
“The world is a little darker today without you here.”
If you need someone to talk to, support is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
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