For over fifty years, Donald Ritchie has been a resident opposite The Gap, a rocky ocean cliff in the eastern Sydney suburb of Watsons Bay. Despite its natural beauty, The Gap has a reputation of being a suicide spot. When most people would probably look in the other direction, Donald decided to take action himself. He kept an active lookout for people contemplating suicide and decided to help them.
As a retired insurance salesman with no formal suicide prevention training, Don has simple reasons for reaching out to people – to give them the opportunity to live. He invited these people back to his house for a chat and his wife could either cook a meal or offer them some tea. According to authorities, Don has saved over 160 people but unofficial estimates put the number at 400.
On the eve of Australia Day, he was announced as Australia’s local hero in 2011 by Commonwealth Bank. Please SHARE this touching video on Facebook and other social media pages to celebrate this man’s efforts in saving lives.[mashshare]