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Australians Tell Their Stories

If You Or Someone You Love Is Suffering From Depression Or Anxiety - This Book Could Change Your Life For The Better...   



Full length EBook, readable as PDF on mobile devices, laptops and all computers.

$25.00 with 'instant delivery'



A Book That Tells The Raw and Often Traumatic Stories Of 12 People, Who Endured The Most Horrendous Depression, But Now Explain Exactly How They Have Overcome It, And Gone On To Lead Inspiring Lives.


A letter from Graeme Cowan....


 Stories From Well Known Australian's


"I would wake up and it was as if my head was full of black spinach."
– Les Murray
Leading Australian Poet


"It was as if those butterflies in your stomach had razor blades for wings."
– John Konrads 
Olympic Gold Medallist


"Just the thought of [panic attacks] make me cringe. They would flare up from my feet... rush through my body and explode out of my head."
– Sonia Attard 
GROW Field Worker

If you ever have or are suffering from depression or anxiety or know someone who is, this book is for you.

This Book Could Change Your Life.



“These first hand accounts showing how people have overcome depression are sorely needed. To read about how others have tried various strategies that have ultimately lead to recovery, gives hope and inspiration."

– Ms Dawn O'Neil 
CEO, Lifeline Australia

Back from the Brink is a powerful compilation book of Australian stories. It shares the experience and hope of people who have suffered from clinical depression and recovered.  

It was considered such a milestone for depression management, that when it was launched by the former NSW leader of the Liberal Party, John Brogden, at the Black Dog Institute, it was covered bySBS World News in their 6.30pm bulletin.

Graeme Cowan and John Brogden on SBS 6:30pm World News 

Compiled by Graeme Cowan, Back from the Brink details discussions with well-known and everyday Australians who share their personal journey of enduring and overcoming depression.

Graeme asks tough and poignant questions of each interviewee. The questions were formed by asking real depression sufferers what they wanted to see asked.

The answers are honest. They are raw.

They will fill you with inspiration.

The answers offer insights into the dark and tumultuous experiences endured by those suffering from depression. They tell you what worked for them.

Written in a question and answer format, the book offers a raw and immediate style that will strike you to your heart.

These honest, first-hand accounts show just how real and prevalent depression is in Australia.

The book also offers inspiration and hope for sufferers and their friends and family.

Because there can truly be a day when loved ones come 'back from the brink'. Readers will be amazed, challenged, inspired and, at times, infuriated by what they read.

Back from the Brink also contains the results of a 3000 person survey on what people consider to be most effective in managing their depression. The results of this survey will surprise you and make you ask "why didn't my doctor tell me this?"

Back from the Brink is an uplifting book about reaching up and out of the black fog of depression. 



"I commend Graeme Cowan's efforts in bringing the people and their powerful stories together in his book and shining a spotlight on depression, anxiety and recovery."
– Jeff Kennett AC 
Chairman, beyondblue: the national depression initiative


Powerful Yet Personal Stories That Will Move And Inspire You


"Your book helped me gain a sense of relief and understanding that I so desperately needed. I have literally read hundreds of books on mental illness and this is the most personable I have come across. You and the others have touched so many people by opening your heart and sharing your stories of recovery. I also loved the section with the complete list of Australian resources and the chapter for family and friends."
– Karen Denaro



Bringing Together Courageous Australians





Purchase the book now to read the extraordinary stories of:  

Margaret Olley

Les Murray

Kathy McMahon

John Konrads

Geoff Gallop

Petria Thomas

Leanne Pethick

Brian Egan

Karin de Vos

Kerry Phelan

Lisa Miller

Sonia Attard


Margaret Olley. At 84, Margaret Olley is an icon of the art world. She grew up in Queensland as a very shy and compulsive child. Her shyness continued into adulthood where she started to depend on alcohol to face social situations. This led to a full blown addiction. Despite extraordinary international success she considered suicide in 2001. 
Les Murray. Australia's leading poet, Les Murray, grew up on the North Coast of NSW as an only child. When he was 12, Les's mother died from a miscarriage. Her death sent his father into a deep depression. In his mid fifties, Les had a horrendous episode which included terrifying, twice daily panic attacks; despite psychiatric help, this episode lasted eight years.
Kathy McMahon. Kathy grew up in country Victoria and suffered horrendous childhood sexual and psychological abuse from a family "friend". She attempted suicide at 13 but was never given an opportunity to explain why. It was not until later in life that her "secret" was revealed.
John Konrads Former Olympic swimming gold medalist, John once held every world record for the 200m to 1500m. He also suffered panic attacks and dark thoughts, struggled with alcohol and was eventually diagnosed BiPolar II. He is today a director of the Black Dog Institute.

Geoff Gallop Rhodes Scholar and former Premier of West Australia, Geoff Gallop surprised the nation when, in the seeming peak of his career, he exited politics because of depression.

Petria Thomas thrilled Australia with three gold medals at the Athens Olympics. Despite her "in control" demeanour, she struggled with low self-esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts. At times this was coupled with career-threatening injuries.
Leanne Pethick. After struggling with depression herself and losing a friend to suicide, Leanne founded DepressioNet, a website dedicated to providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on depression. It is dubbed the site for "people like us"
Brian Egan is a farmer and veteran from outback Queensland who was recently featured on Australian Story. Crippled by drought, PTSD and depression, he had to walk off his farm in 1999 with nothing. On a mission to help people worse off than himself, Brian set up Aussie Helpers and dedicated his life to helping farmers in need


Karin de Vos
Karin left school early and was never settled or content, always feeling like she was living for other people. She finally had a breakdown, parted with her husband and embarked on a journey

of self awareness. Karin established Kidz Alive - a website and community dedicated to celebrating the unique gifts of children.
Kerry Phelan
Kerry grew up on a wheat and sheep farm in Western Australia before being conscripted in to national service, and went to Vietnam in 1967. He later suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his war service.
Lisa Miller
When Geelong's Lisa Miller had twins, she suffered chronic post-natal depression, crying constantly, hating seeing happy mums and feeling like a failure. She had no support and could not find mums who understood how she felt. She now runs the Geelong Post Natal Support Group.
Sonia Attard
After a difficult childhood and marriage, Sonia Attard had a severe breakdown and suffered constant and paralysing panic attacks. Her 12-year-old son took her to GROW, a 12-step health support program and she is now an ambassador for the GROW program.

These powerful stories from ordinary Australians in extraordinary situations form the core of Back From The Brink. Never before has a book explored a concept as misunderstood as depression with such raw insight.


"Back from the Brink is an extremely worthwhile contribution to an area that is often burdened with stigma and shame."
– The Hon Mark Vaile MP
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Leader of the Nationals


Supporting Family And Friends 

The chapter "Seven Steps to Support a Loved One with Depression" is based on the findings from interviews with 271 people suffering from depression. It offers very practical advice about how best to help someone who isn't coping without compromising you own mental and physical wellbeing. It lists relevant support groups, books, and websites. 

"This is a very valuable resource for those supporting a family member or friend with depression. It offers specific advice on how to be of most help without sacrificing your own wellbeing."
– Rhoda Immerman
Executive Director, ARAFMI NSW Inc 
(Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill)


Jam-Packed With Resources 

Back From The Brink contains a vast store of information. From websites and further reading to contact numbers for support agencies and counselors, Back From The Brink contains thoroughly researched and comprehensive information - all in one place - to save you the work. 


It contains very courageous testimonies and research which will benefit our 25,000 GP's and their patients."
– Ms Kate Carnell
CEO, Australian General Practice Network


"Aussie Helpers operate in rural areas where there isn't any mental health facilities so we have to rely on our own personal experiences to relate to the people who we speak with face to face in the bush to help them overcome the many problems associated with depression. One of our main facilities is Graeme Cowans's book on depression "Back from the Brink" a book that we find to contain not only stories of real people and their struggles with depression but many strategies for helping people to cope with this monster. I fully recommend this book for any person suffering from the debilitating effects of depression" 
– Brian Egan
Founder, Aussie Helpers

This book is the perfect gift for the special people in your life... and for yourself.

In fact, for every person who suffers depression, there are at least two people supporting them. Friends or family. Loved ones or colleagues.