Recently, an idea came to mind. I wanted to have conversations about mental health with musicians, whether from the perspective of how music has helped them personally in their lives, or how they personally cope in the music industry by supporting their mental health. Thus, a new article series called “Mentally In Tune” was born.
Understandably a delicate (but important) topic, I sought to have open and honest sharings with people who were comfortable to share their experiences. Being mentally healthy includes concepts like chasing happiness and living in ways that have us feel good about ourselves. I hoped that these conversations could inspire associated stigma begin to fade, as we’re reminded that musicians we admire can also go through really rough times, just like the rest of us.
Hellions‘ poetic and honest lyricism has been something I’ve appreciated since stumbling upon Opera Oblivia. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the creative force behind Hellions’ words was/is the band’s guitarist and vocalist Matt Gravolin. Hellions touch on dark subject matter at times, whether it is about relating to others or finding one’s purpose or a place in the world. They also seem to be collectively working hard to make talking/thinking about happiness and kindness cool again. So I was very happy to hear that Matt was open to a “Mentally In Tune” chat with me. I met Matt at his house on a sweltering Melbourne day and (after meeting the bitey/friendly housecat Bear) we settled down for a chat about music and the mind.
Starting by talking about his beginnings by way of music, Matt shared that he grew up listening to music that his parents played; which spanned from classic artists like Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra through to Aussie rock like Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel. “I was lucky to have a broad musical upbringing,” Matt shared. Comparing our musical upbringings, we discovered that our respective parents had both listened to Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, and Elton John. Matt shared that he is currently taking the time to explore Elton’s early discography, saying “His singer-songwriter stuff is so incredible. It’s a big influence to me.”
As far as his own listening, an affinity for heavy music and punk came in early for Matt, which is what eventually inspired him to be a musician. But, maybe surprisingly, he said “The first thing that I really loved for myself was Eminem [laughs]. I think the thing that rap and punk share is the anti-establishment kind of vibe about it, and there’s.. not like a danger.. but something synonymous with that. It’s edgy.”
Kel: “There’s an honesty as well that links them, that you don’t tend to hear in other kinds of music.”
Matt: “Yeah, it’s not as formulaic as pop music.”
What kindled a true love of music and something of a framework for a career for Matt was discovering bands like Good Charlotte, and then most impactfully System Of A Down, and Slipknot. While he was not necessarily a fan of nu metal as a whole, Matt felt there was something particular about System Of A Down and Slipknot that drew him to them; “They both had something very unique and honest, I felt.”
Guitar & Theatricality
Matt loved music so much that as a teenager that he asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas. “And from there I just never stopped playing it. I’d learn all the System Of A Down and My Chemical Romance songs. Hours and hours, every day after I’d come home from school. It was just everything to me. Those songs in particular – all those songs are burned into the back of my head. The notes and the way they’re written are hardwired into my music writing now. So a lot of the things I do now, I’m subconsciously influenced by them.”
He describes this period of time in youth as seeming like when a love for music is at its most pure, and when minds are sponges for creative influences: “It’s when all that wonderment is there, because you don’t really understand it. You just know that it feels amazing.”
Matt attributes My Chemical Romance as inspiring his present day fascination with Queen, which has clearly influenced Hellions’ music. Matt’s admiration for Freddie Mercury as well as his quest for his own “Bohemian Rhapsody”-esque mark upon the world shines through. “That style was a whole new type of drama and theatricality. In doing the research, this style originated with Queen, and My Chemical Romance was like an update on that blueprint.” Hellions’ appreciation for musical drama has inspired them to turn anxiousness into “Theatre of The Lotus” on their Rue album (as one example), portraying an emotional state with as much drama and fanfare possible. One could describe elements of Rue as “Anxiety: The Musical”.
For Matt, the theatricality of his music was a way of attempting to have emotions be understood. “It’s too complex to explain, even to tell somebody how you feel. There’s no real way of doing that with complete accuracy. I don’t think that a person can be truly 110% understood, because you can’t be in another person’s skin. And unless you can feel it for yourself… you can sympathise and somewhat understand, but not in the way that you’re feeling. And I think that’s as close as you get, is to paint this picture for somebody else and make a story of it.” With Hellions imbuing their musical pictures with so much reality, listeners are taking in many layers of information and potential understanding that can take time to recognise and notice. “I think that’s important,” Matt says, adding “All my favourite stuff has layers that’d take years to peel.”
Self taught for awhile, Matt pursued guitar lessons when he needed to hone the theoretical side of playing to enhance the music that he was able to make. “All my stuff has come from mostly imagination. The lessons helped in physical technique with fingers and developing feel from observing the teacher, moreso than theoretically taking everything on board. At the end of the day, I found that imagination serves me the best.”
It was the debut EP for Matt’s first band The Bride that was the first of many releases at his hand. “For every project that I’ve been in – [laughs] this sounds kind of narcissistic or something – I’ve always written the majority of it. I wasn’t writing lyrics back then, but I write all of the blueprint and then the respective members would put their flair on it.” In these early years of becoming a musician, Matt felt very little stress about it as he carried a simple ethos: “Write the coolest riffs that feel really good.”
The shift from ‘just having fun’ to something more stressful began when people started recognising the efforts of the band, and Matt took this people-factor very seriously. “When you get people that really admire what you’re doing, then obviously there’s more of a responsibility. My first band, The Bride.. the first full length record was when I really started to take charge with lyrics and writing. So I guess that’s when I really felt the responsibility to say something and take onus over what the words are going to mean to people. You know, ‘if people are to take these words on board, then how’s it going to affect their lives?’. You don’t want to fill somebody with horror. [laughs] You can for moments, because that’s life, and you can make it sort of poetic. The crux of it needs to be that you’ve got to be careful with people, I think.”
Seeming to be a measured and thoughtful person in many ways, Matt takes a considered approach to his writing that has him temporarily assume listeners’ shoes to gauge potential reactions to his internal expressions, while also striving to be understood as intended. “There’s a big danger for me. I don’t want to misrepresent myself and my feelings. I want to get it right. You want some stuff to be open to interpretation, but there are some things that need to be very specific. You want to get across exactly the precise way that you feel, so that it doesn’t get misinterpreted. I think they’re sort of tandem pressures in looking after the listenership but also not misrepresenting yourself.” While Matt spoke, it came across to me as something of an internal tug-of-war, and I understood more as to why so much time goes into Hellions’ releases, as well as why the theatricality came into what he creates.
As we might expect occurs with someone who uses caution with their creations, there can be some tough decisions for Matt when there are several phrases to choose from for a lyric, as one example. Setting the scene, he shared “..And they only vary by slight details. But because it’s my child, and every little detail matters, you can sit there and stress about it. You’re wasting time, and studio time is money. You can sit there and overanalyse everything, but it’s such a small detail.. You’ve gotta go with your gut, and say ‘What does instinct tell you? That one! That’s the one, okay!’. [laughs]”
Kel: “Have you always leaned on instinct?”
“That’s a new thing. Because I would waste too much time. At the end of the day, most people don’t look as deep into it as what you’d do. Nobody will see a Hellions record like I do. I mean there are wonderful people like yourself who do take the time to scratch beneath the surface, but the details that I’m talking about aren’t going to matter. It’s only now that I’m learning that.”
Further challenges for Matt as a songwriter relate to his appreciation of what others are doing in music, while striving to keep the band’s own identity at the forefront. “You don’t want to sound too much like somebody else. I think that trends in music are a big thing. For example, when The 1975 released that 2016 record [I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it]. I thought that was just brilliant and the world had been missing that for such a long time. And it takes every bit of you to not emulate that sound, because it’s so fresh and inviting. That’s another challenge.”
He expresses a desire to take influence from another artist, while not completely emulating them and losing who you are. “I think you’ve gotta really sit down and think what makes up the foundational tissue of your art. You know, what your core things are. What makes up your project at the heart of it.”
Elaborating on this, he says “With Hellions it’s the theatricality of it, the honesty of it. Always trying to make it as honest as possible. As far as sonically, the theatricality of it is a big thing. We really want to capitalise on that. I think that’s the main part of our identity. We like to dip our feet into different genres without fully going off on one.”
I was curious as to whether Matt had come up against creative insecurities about his abilities, whether as a lyricist, songwriter, guitarist, or singer. “Absolutely. Usually when you first write something you’ll be so enamoured by it, because your newest stuff is always the best to you. And then as you sort of fine tune it, you’ll think it’s shit for awhile. Like ‘This is garbage. What was I thinking? I don’t understand it.’ And then you’ll take time away from it and then you’ll say ‘This is what needs to happen here’, and you’ll come back and think it’s the greatest thing ever again. That process might repeat itself and turn around six times. There’s always an inherent doubt with songwriting. I think it’s the same for any true creatives I’ve known. I think it’s almost a rule and you’ve just got to persevere through that.”
“Singing is a very different thing. I’ve always had doubts about singing. I’ve always screamed for the band, doing backups. And then recently doing more focused screaming back and forth with Dre. With that, you sort of just let go and it does it. There’s no need for any control you just let it go and remember the words and to use your diaphragm. With singing there’s control and technique that’s very different. There’s so much more vulnerability to that for me than there is screaming, and it requires so much more control.”
For someone who has only been singing since late 2015 or early 2016 before Opera Oblivia, it’s something that Matt acknowledges is tough for him. “I like to think that I do alright on my own. [laughs] But yeah when I’m in front of an audience, I find it takes a bit of Dutch courage to get through it. It can be a very scary thing. That vulnerability can be too much to bear.”
Kel: “Okay. Vulnerability as in how it might be responded to? Or what you’re putting out emotionally?”
Matt: “What you’re putting out emotionally, and if you’re doing yourself justice as far as pitch and technique. Marcus [Bridge] from Northlane put it best for me. I always thought of it as a mind game, and he confirmed it. For a singer as great as what he is, for him to say to me ‘All it is is a mind game. If you can conquer it in your head, then you’re fine outside of it.’ That’s all it comes down to.”
Kel: “Right. ‘Mind game’ like a confidence kind of thing?”
Matt: “Yeah, of confidence and just worrying about all the different technique and your pitch and your expression. All that. You’ve just got to find that sort of zen within yourself, and the confidence. And once you’ve got that you should be okay.”
Kel: “Which seems like it would be impossible if you’re already feeling vulnerable..”
Matt: “..And if you’re predisposed towards anxiety and that sort of thing anyway, then that’s going to be more challenging for you. I think it’s just time and time in practice that’s going to override that.”
Touring, Drinking, & Relationships
Moving onto the subject of touring, Matt has found that how the experience is for him is greatly dependent upon the people he tours with and the vibe of the experience. He describes himself as an ‘ambivert’, which I’ve since learned is a balance between having an introverted or extroverted personality. “I’m right in the middle there, I think. I’ve found that it depends on so many different things. If I’m comfortable with who I’m with, I’ll chat up a storm and be super happy and super convivial. But if there’s someone whose energy doesn’t really resonate well with my own, then I won’t. You never know who you’re going to get on tour, especially when you’re sharing a bus in Europe or whatever. It’s a mixed bag and that’s a beautiful thing as well, but it can be difficult as well. Like what Booka said as well, with privacy it can make you feel anxious, and it’s not nice to feel surrounded at all times.”
Kel: “What helps you?”
Matt: “I drink a lot. [laughs] It just makes me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. The objective isn’t oblivion, it’s just to settle down.”
Kel: “I notice that in myself, even in day to day life; there’ll be nothing wrong, but I’m tense. And a glass of wine or whatever is like a gearshift for me.”
Matt: “Even sitting with an acoustic guitar at home and I’ll be very aware of other ears within the house, hearing me sing and play. But then just to have a wine or something, my shoulders will just drop down and I’ll lose myself in what I’m doing as opposed to thinking about what everybody else thinks of me, just as an example.”
Matt finds that post-tour depression happens for him if he’s had some meaningful connections while on tour. “If it’s a particularly good tour and you forge these insane memories, then yeah that’s an actual thing for sure. When you make a real bond with somebody that you never expected, it comes out of nowhere, and you spend a month with that person and then you’re without them.. It’s more of a people thing than a place thing. It’s the relationships, I think, for me personally.”
With home relationships, he admits that he can be neglectful at times, but is supported by his loved ones. “My family are really patient with me. I’m a dog chasing cars. My mind is in a million places at once and I often forget to tend to home, and they can worry about me. And then selfishly enough, when I’m feeling a bit vulnerable, then I’ll phone home. Which is not a nice thing.”
Matt’s experiences with being in a romantic relationship while touring have been challenging, mostly based on conflicts between expectations or ideas of what touring life is like. “I think romantic relationships can really really suffer if you don’t deal with that well. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, especially if there’s drinking involved and such a large group of people. The time will fly by and you’ll be like ‘Oh fuck, I haven’t spoken to my girlfriend or boyfriend’ and meanwhile they’ll be at home alone with all the time in the world to think and then construct your own situation. ‘They’re having the best time in the world while I’m stuck here working’ or you know, looking after the house and what have you. That can really cause somewhat of a rift.”
There’s not necessarily a perception that there can be struggles on tour just as much as at home, and this misunderstanding has led Matt to make decisions about relationships for himself. “It helps to have somebody that understands touring. I can’t have a partner anymore that doesn’t understand music or touring because it’s such a big part of my life and makes up such a big part of who I am. It sounds so silly but I won’t date anybody unless they’re a musician or unless they have a really true understanding of music. That sounds really short sighted, but it’s not. I’ve dated a lot and I realise where it’s worked and where it hasn’t and a lot of it comes down to that. My passion for music can be destructive if it’s not understood.”
Social Media & Public Perception
For anyone that follows Matt on social media, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s not very active compared to some. It’s partly Matt’s desire for honesty that impacts upon this, as well as being uncomfortable about false online personas that he’s seen formed by others. But there’s a lot of fear with this topic. “I only like to present myself as the way I am and I have great difficulty with that. Because then I worry that when I DO present myself as exactly what I am and people don’t like that, then they don’t like me. And then I’m just… invalid. But in the same token, I refuse to.. I don’t know. I don’t want to overglamorise my life, because it’s just not like that, and I know a lot of people do do that. They’re so focused on looking as though they’re living, that they forget that they’re not actually living. I worry about that. At the same time, like anybody else I do worry about being irrelevant and not thought about. I want to be in people’s minds, and I want to be in front of them every so often. Yeah there’s a degree of anxiety that comes with that. I have a very fickle relationship with public perception.”
As this was something of an awkward topic, I shifted the lens away from Matt and toward Instagram culture in general and narcissism. It truly doesn’t seem like something that those with a tendency to overthink (such as Matt) can be easily involved with and feel comfortable. Thinking out loud in bouncing thoughts about social media off each other, Matt shared “This fucking proclivity that we all have for putting up pictures of ourselves. I can understand the instant gratification thing, but I don’t see how people.. For me if I were to do that – and I’ve done that, I’ve tried to put up photos of myself – there’s so much thought that goes into it, and you do have to make sure you’re looking good. There’s so much of you that goes into that..”
Due to poor planning, I’d driven to Matt’s house immediately after a floation therapy session. My hair was still a bit wet, I’d put mascara on in the car, and I was wearing a Deadlights shirt and jeans. I admitted I’d had some concern about showing up to an interview and presenting myself so scrappily instead of attempting to look more professional, but also had the thought that “Fuck it. If Hellions is about honesty, then who cares?”. My feeling is that people can put on all the makeup they want, but honesty still bleeds through. I shared that I don’t feel that people can put on a permanent facade.
Matt: “What you’re saying, I’m only just learning over the last six months or so. That I don’t need to worry about the little things that I do worry about. My father had lost all of his hair by 23 and I’m 27 now. And I don’t think my hairline’s going back any more than it was? I’ve always had thin hair, but I used to worry to the point of actually losing the shit there on the spot about the way I look and how it’s going to feel.”
Kel: “I’ve got a bald partner, so.. [laughs]”
Matt: “[laughs] Like oh my god, it doesn’t matter. You are who you are. People are going to love you for who you are and what you project to the world. It’s only going to diminish the power of who you are inside of you if you really abide by that and let it dictate the way that you go about your day and the way that you handle your interactions with people. The hair thing is just a small example of the litany of things and that other people would have also.”
I had to wonder if being on stage in front of thousands of people felt different to social media. In both instances, all eyes are on the band, and yet on stage and with nowhere to hide there’s not much you can do but be yourself. Matt felt that the difference comes in the inability to lie when on stage. “You can’t frame yourself in a certain way. They take who you are as you are. You can lie with your mouth, but not with your body language and the way that you appear in general.” Which also seems to tie in to the subject matter of “Smile”.
Matt also admits he feels lucky that Hellions’ Dre is a larger than life frontman who he feels would draw attention when the band is on stage. “I’m lucky that I get to hide behind Dre. Everybody’s looking at Dre and rightfully so because of the fantastic performer he is. If I were watching, I’d be transfixed. I’d be staring at Dre. A born entertainer and a perfect frontman. I’m lucky to share the stage with him.”
Relating on the parallel of being a creative (albeit on a far smaller scale) who really doesn’t want to be centre of attention, such as doing video interviews, for example, it seemed that following the passion for music is a driving force to do things that would have not otherwise been considered. “I never wanted a stage for me”, Matt agreed. “I wanted a stage for my songs. But I so desperately want a stage for the songs that I will put myself out there. It’s part and parcel, you have to do it, and it’s alright – I will do it, no matter how much I don’t want to sometimes. If it’s going to further the songs, then I’ll do what I have to do.”
I shared that even being on the phone for an interview was unthinkable for me when I first began Depth – to the point of literal nausea – and that a lot of the natural progression of this project and the opportunities that have arisen for it have asked for me to move well out of my comfort zone. I’ve gone for it because of how much I believe in it. Matt agreed that he is working ‘in honour’ of his project, saying “There’s something to be said for throwing yourself in the deep end. Sometimes you’ve just gotta face your fears.”
With such honest and dark lyricism at times, I was surprised when Matt shared that he didn’t find it to be a vulnerable experience to share his words. Recognising that he should (such as before “X” released; a song Matt had described as “a fancy sort of suicide note dressed up as bubblegum poppy rock thing”), Matt simply felt proud of the honesty as well as the expectation of acceptance from the Hellions listenership. “At the end of the day, we’re all pretty similar. There’s not a whole lot that we differ in. These are very human things being experienced by all these people. There’s not a whole lot to be afraid of there. It’s more the superficial shit that scares me. The stuff we’ve just been talking about. It’s just the right conduit. If there’s any conduit you can be honest, it’s the music. If you can’t say it then, you can’t say it, that’s the way it is to me.”
The ‘superficial shit’ such as media or social media and anything that focuses on Matt specifically has made for him to be ‘strict’ with himself. His naturally kinder approach to himself turns into a more forceful inner voice telling him to “Face it!” and take the opportunities that are coming – that he doesn’t have a choice but to do it. He describes them as “fears that yield opportunity”, and I’m sure we can all relate to those popping up every now and then in our lives.
There’s a common misconception that people who have the pleasure of doing what they love should be happy, simply because of what they get to do. Happiness has been a significant lyrical focus for Hellions, and I’ve personally taken a lot of time in exploring happiness myself, so this seemingly simple topic soon spiraled into a lengthy (and enjoyable) conversation.
Regarding happiness itself, Matt shared “I don’t think there’s such a thing as consistent happiness, and I don’t think anyone could convince me otherwise. That’s beautiful on its own, because there can’t be any happiness without unhappiness. I don’t know. What does it mean? There was something I was reading.. like, ‘If anyone could turn steel into gold, there wouldn’t be any value in gold’.”
I wondered out loud what happiness even was, and if it was a high mood or outlook, or high energy/vibrational state, and if that was something to strive for, and what the pockets in between might be like, if any? Matt responded: “It’s a fickle thing and you can drive yourself mad if you think about it too much. For me, it’s as simple as I find happiness in my purpose and if what I’m working towards – which is songwriting for me – and if I’m progressing with that, and even if I’m not progressing and I’m putting the work in toward it, then I’m happy within myself to know that I’m striving as best as I can to benefit my art and hopefully by extension some parts of the world, in the form of other people. I guess just generally doing the best that you can by other people. Obviously that’s a cliche but it’s the truth. You’re not going to be any happier than you would be if you’re ensuring somebody else’s happiness. I think that’s where that real crazy love and contentment comes from, in looking after people and trying to help them.”
As a mother, I couldn’t help but share my experience of being giving to the extreme; having ensured my children’s happiness, but not necessarily kept focus upon my own happiness in the meantime. I said “You can lose yourself. It’s probably a balance of making other people happy and feeling rewarded by that. I love when I write in response to a band’s music and I can tell that they’ve been moved by it, for example. It’s kind of like a reciprocal thing that I need.” In losing my identity in motherhood for some time, I’d also lost my connection with music – not as a conscious sacrifice, nor at anyone’s request, but by having raising my children as my central focus and meeting my own ideals, because sacrifice is what good mothers do, right?
We spoke about how gratitude would be the missing factor, and how young children wouldn’t necessarily be able to offer gratitude in response to their parents’ sacrifices, sparking something for Matt: “What’s funny is that I remember my first moment of gratitude ever. It’s probably the earliest memory I have. I was five years old and I’d just been taken to the zoo by my parents. I was back in the car, and they went through a KFC drive through or something like that, and I had a toy in my lap from the zoo and they gave me this meal. I remember feeling emotional and I started to wail and cry. It was because it was my first bit of gratitude. I was like ‘You guys have just done all of this for me. You’ve given me all this stuff’. And I didn’t know how to deal with it or I didn’t know what it was and I just burst into tears as a kid. They were trying to figure out what was wrong and I’m just wailing and shaking my head.”
Kel: [crying kid voice] “I’M SO HAPPYYYY”
Matt: “Yeah! But it was like a melancholy. It wasn’t like this straight happiness. It was the first time that I realised that these people are doing everything for me, and that they love me, and they love me so much they’re going to keep doing that for me. That’s so crazy that that just came to me. What a beautiful thing.”
Music As Compass
Returning to the broader topic of music, Matt shared that he’d never before felt an affinity for anything the way he did for music. He agreed when I asked if it had found him instead of consciously pursuing it. “I’d never felt that way before. I don’t know that I had a choice but to follow that. I felt powerless to stop it.”
Matt considers music as a whole to be a teacher, first and foremost, saying “That’s how it always felt. A companion too, but I definitely made a deity of music from a young age and it’s always been that way. I’ll always look at it that way. It’s a compass.”
Even now, exploring new music and going down an artist ‘rabbit hole’ is how Matt says he feels at one with himself. “I guess it’s sort of paradoxical – but I think expanding is the best way for me to feel at home with myself. That’s where I feel most centred within myself.”
With two of these Mentally In Tune conversations now, I was starting to see that we each have our own ways of getting back to ourselves and to feel at home there. For me personally, it is visual metaphors and seeing concepts in my mind. It’s a way for me to understand concepts and to make things more simple.
Matt undertakes this simplification/understanding of life with poetry. He says “I’m a sucker for big, verbose, analytic lyrics and that’s the stuff that makes my eyes roll back in my head and I get lost in that. But yeah, poetry in particular. Boiling it down to its basic compounds of what makes up an idea.” Having read many of Matt’s poems, I’ve found that there’s a musicality to the way they roll off the tongue, despite their verbosity. The marriage of words and music seem to be Matt’s muse; guiding him onward, as much as they are inspiring others who have the pleasure of enjoying them. That sounds kind of like a recipe for happiness to me.
Booka Nile has provided these contacts for anyone who may need them.
For people between the ages of 12-25 and their families and friends. They offer an online chat and group chats as well as over the phone support. They also offer awesome services to young people with a mental health diagnosis. This is the link to their over the phone and e services: https://headspace.org.au/
Beyond Blue offer the same type of online and over the phone support service but with no age restrictions: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
Support for adult survivors of childhood trauma there’s Blue Knot Foundation: https://www.blueknot.org.au/
Mental Health Plan
Those people who want to start seeing a psychologist in person can go to their GP and discuss their concerns with them and ask to be put on a 10 session mental health plan. This plan provides 10 subsidized clinical psychology sessions per year and your GP can refer patients to a psychologist if their not sure where to find one. People will have to pay the gap between the subsidized payment and the hourly rate of the clinical psychologist but it usually doesn’t work out to be much more then $50 or so.
Those people experiencing a mental health crisis (i.e. are at risk of suicide, are experiencing a psychotic episode or are in a heightened state of distress) can call 000 and be taken to hospital. This is actually an option that a lot of people don’t realise exists! Hospitals are for those experiencing mental health problems as well as physical health problems though. For those who are unsure whether hospital is necessary or not, they can call Lifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 and ask for further advice. They have people working 24/7, 365 days a year across Australia.