After attempting to take his own life 17 years ago, Nathan Taylor is now hoping to help teenagers gain the tools they need to flourish as young adults.
Comunite’z is a social enterprise growing from tragedy and now gaining the support of businesses and organisations in the Caloundra region.
“I tried to take my life in 2004 and I am very grateful I am here today and I’ve got a second chance at life because I love my life,” Mr Taylor says.
“I feel it is something I can really connect with. I’m not somebody who doesn’t understand what someone else is going through, because I’ve been there.”
Mr Taylor was 25 at the time of his attempted suicide and was saved by his stepfather Allan Randle, but the initiative for change began when Mr Taylor and his wife Kattisha set up Zak’s Community on Facebook in 2018.
The page was in honour of Ms Taylor’s second cousin, Zak, who took his life in 2012 aged just 12.
“It was really, really traumatic and it’s just something you can never get over; it’s never forgotten,” Mr Taylor says.
Selling T-shirts to raise money for suicide prevention, the initiative eventually grew into Comunite’z, the ‘Z’ symbolic of Zak.
“We’ve got to a point where we’ve been out spreading a lot of awareness,” Mr Taylor says. “I’ve been doing some speaking and lots of people are buying shirts and hats.”
Local businesses have come on board to help spread the message and provide resources to assist in suicide prevention for high school students.
“The old saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ – as a community, we are all in this together.
“Suicide prevention is bigger than any one individual; it is bigger than all of us.
“We’ve been blessed with having such an amazing community here on the Sunshine Coast that so many businesses have wanted to be a part of it.
“We want to connect these kids with interests so they can uncover a passion and connect to community.”
As Comunite’z continues to grow, the plan is to hold workshops, programs, activities and social events where young people can connect with gyms, sporting clubs or similar organisations.
The goal is to help teenagers develop a sense of belonging and self-love through an ethos of care, conversation, connections, community, change.
“We want to give them the tools to discover their own self-love – everything that they need to go on and become flourishing young adults. We wanted to create leaders of the next generation who do have all the tools they need to overcome any challenges or any adversity but also be passionate advocates for suicide prevention themselves.”
Comunite’z will have an official launch on March 20 at Coffee Cat on Kings Beach. More information can be found on the Comunite’z Unite for Life and Zak’s Comunite’z Facebook pages.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 131 114.