A man just seconds away from jumping the Sydney Harbor Bridge has shared the secrets to how he overcame his despair to become a father, ultramarathon runner and mental health champion.
Early in the morning on December 4, 2014, a severely intoxicated Dan Price, 29 – shattered after a divorce and severely depressed – climbed outside the bridge’s security fence.
Exhausted and desperate, Mr. Price planned to kill himself.
An initial confrontation with the police and the rescue attempt that followed sent the city into a panic as the bridge closed and morning traffic began to pile up.
So embarrassed was Mr. Price, who admitted to sleeping in his car that week, that he tried to convince his rescuers that he was only watching the sunrise.
Dan Price, who was seconds away from jumping the Sydney Harbor Bridge in 2014, has changed his life, becoming a father, ultramarathon runner and mental health champion (Pictured, Mr Price with wife Sarah)
Early in the morning on December 4, 2014, a severely intoxicated Dan Price, 29, shattered after a divorce and severely depressed, climbed outside the bridge’s security fence
To this day, he says he ‘always’ gets chills when he passes the fateful spot on the Bridge where he had to be freed from himself.
Fast forward eight years and Mr Price is father to two children, Talulah, 4, and Sunny, 2, and is married to Sarah.
He also just ran his second 100km ultra marathon in late October, overcoming painful cramps and crossing the line in just over 11 hours.
In a recent social media post to mark his 37th birthday, Mr Price said his “life is fuller than I could have ever imagined”.
He attributes his remarkable transformation to a decision to open up and tell his story after people thought he was just “burnt out” before nearly ending his life.
On December 4, 2014, Mr Price, then 30, was spotted by a guard walking ‘heel to toe’ along a thin section of railing 60 meters above Sydney Harbour.
Fast forward eight years and Mr Price is father to two children, Talulah, 4, and Sunny, 2, and is married to Sarah
Constable Arun Trevitt, who later became close friends with Mr Price, convinced him that whatever brought him where he was, he could overcome it (Pictured, Mr Trevitt with Mr Price)
How Dan Price Changed His Life After He Nearly Jumped Off the Harbor Bridge
Dan Price told Daily Mail Australia what he did to change his life after being classified under the Mental Health Act for trying to jump off Sydney Harbor Bridge in 2014.
1. Reached out for mental health help and accepted what was offered
2. Be completely honest with loved ones: have no more secrets
3. Stop old behavior, including quitting drinking and working too long
4. Replace old behavior with new, healthier ones: fitness, meditation, found new friends
5. Started with a morning routine, starting at 4:30 am every day
6. Improved His Diet: Quit Junk Food, Drink More Water
A study of casualties between 1930 and 1982 showed that falling off the bridge has an 85 percent fatality rate.
Mr. Price remembers clambering over the fence and walking ‘tight’ along the railing.
“I can still remember climbing over the fence just after 5am,” Mr Price told the Daily Mail Australia.
“I was exhausted, had felt suicidal for so long and had no strength to carry on and pretend I was okay every day.
‘I didn’t sleep, I drank too much. I worked up to 14 hours a day.’
By the time he was spotted by Bridge’s security, he was extremely lucky that he hadn’t fallen yet.
‘Fear and shock’ engulfed Mr Price as he realized the danger he was in after coming out of a blackout state.
The guard noticed him and soon a police officer, Officer Arun Trevitt, walked over to the gate to calm him down.
Mr. Trevitt, who later became close friends with Mr. Price, convinced him he could overcome whatever had brought him where he was.
The rescuers on the scene cut a hole in the fence to pull him through and once on the other side, he was read his mental health rights and taken away in an ambulance.
He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, taken to the Psychiatric Emergency Care Center (PECC) in Sydney and placed under observation.
“It was all for my own safety, that probably saved my life.
“You can imagine how upset I was. I would have run away if that hadn’t happened.’
He remembers the PECC as a scary place.
Dan Price just completed his second 100km ultramarathon in late October, overcoming painful cramps and crossing the line in just over 11 hours
Getting honest with friends and loved ones is the number one thing Mr Price recommends for anyone struggling with mental health issues (Pictured Mr Price with wife Sarah)
“It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone – they lock the doors for you and take off your belt and even your shoelaces.”
When he was released four days later, a daunting recovery journey had just begun.
He required a month’s hospitalization in another mental health facility and then saw a psychiatrist and psychologist every week for 12 months.
Mr. Price needed different kinds of drugs, which he took for three years.
He also embarked on a fitness journey that has seen him complete several ultramarathons since then.
As the relationship he was in at the time came to an end, Mr. Price threw himself into the available help.
Friends and family knew he had been rescued on the bridge, but few knew how or why he got there.
“They just thought I was burned out.”
He opened up to loved ones and then decided to tell his story on a larger scale. By 2017, he had become a mental health ambassador.
He met his wife, Sarah, in 2017 – who had also suffered major mental health issues – and the couple have two children together.
Mr. Price stopped working extreme hours and started to devote more time to other interests, where he found the sense of community he craved
Mr Price has used physical challenges to maintain good mental health
In his birthday post, Mr Price reflected on “eight birthdays that were almost never.”
‘[Being] 29 was almost the end. I saw it. I felt it. But I didn’t know that 29 meant a second chance. A rebirth. Never again would a day be taken for granted.
‘I welcome 37, feeling more alive than ever before. My life is fuller than I could have ever imagined. Cherish every moment, every breath.
“Stay present, keep your eyes and heart open, because this miracle could be over in the twinkling of an eye.”
Mr Price is raising money for Move for Movember, a challenge to run or walk 60km this month. Every hour, 60 men worldwide die by suicide.
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