Vanlife Instagram star Lee Macmillan pledged to ‘boost mental health’ before taking her life

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A ‘vanlifer’ Instagram star who ended her life after battling depression had shared a smiling photo and pledged to work on her mental health just weeks before her death.

Canadian Lee Macmillan became an internet sensation by documenting her adventures Down Under with her Australian ex-partner Max Bidstrup and their dog Occy.

Mr Bidstrup shared the news of Ms. Macmillan’s death on Wednesday on the couple’s Instagram page @maxandlee_.

“After living an extraordinary life and fighting a courageous battle with depression, our hearts have been shattered to share that Lee came off life Friday,” Bidstrup wrote.

He has since started the hashtag ‘#speakupforlee’ to raise awareness about mental illness and the importance of checking in with your friends.

On February 27, Ms. Macmillan admitted to her 59,000 Instagram followers that she felt “ stressed ” and took the time to focus on her own well-being.

Lee Macmillan, who documented her journey Down Under with her Australian ex-partner Max Bidstrup and their dog Occy, tragically took her life last week.

Lee Macmillan, who documented her journey Down Under with her Australian ex-partner Max Bidstrup and their dog Occy, tragically took her life last week.

In January of this year, the pair announced their split to their joint Instagram account, shocking their hordes of loyal followers and fans.

In January of this year, the pair announced their split to their joint Instagram account, shocking their hordes of loyal followers and fans.

In January of this year, the pair announced their split to their joint Instagram account, shocking their hordes of loyal followers and fans.

On February 27, Ms. Macmillan admitted to her 59,000 Instagram followers that she felt 'stressed' and was taking some time to focus on her mental health.

On February 27, Ms. Macmillan admitted to her 59,000 Instagram followers that she felt 'stressed' and was taking some time to focus on her mental health.

On February 27, Ms. Macmillan admitted to her 59,000 Instagram followers that she felt ‘stressed’ and was taking some time to focus on her mental health.

Max described his ex-partner as 'the brightest light' and a 'magnetic force of nature' loved by many

Max described his ex-partner as 'the brightest light' and a 'magnetic force of nature' loved by many

Max described his ex-partner as ‘the brightest light’ and a ‘magnetic force of nature’ loved by many

“I’m taking a moment to outline my next steps, with the highest priority being to find balance and strengthen my mental health,” she said.

“Oh well, you know when you are stressed and you already feel it in your body and then your body decides to remind you again in case you forgot with a lovely cold sore.”

The photo she shared next to the post showed her smiling and jokingly covering the cold sore with her finger.

In Wednesday’s post, Mr Bidstrup described his ex-partner as ‘the brightest light’ and a ‘magnetic force of nature’ loved by many.

“We will miss her with every fiber of our hearts,” he wrote.

If we can do one thing for Lee right now, in the midst of this devastating loss, it is to spread the message that mental health is just as real as physical health, and that illness can affect anyone, however unlikely they may be. appear.

It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s absolutely necessary to ask for help. Lee was a mental health advocate. She was forthright and open about her own struggles. ‘

Mr Bidstrup said Ms Macmillan received help from professionals, family and friends for her depression.

The couple's @maxandlee_ Instagram page, which has garnered more than 67,000 devoted followers, revealed the devastating news on Wednesday

The couple's @maxandlee_ Instagram page, which has garnered more than 67,000 devoted followers, revealed the devastating news on Wednesday

The couple’s @maxandlee_ Instagram page, which has garnered more than 67,000 devoted followers, revealed the devastating news on Wednesday

The beloved couple spent five weeks touring Southeast Asia together before returning to Canada, where they bought and renovated a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van.

The beloved couple spent five weeks touring Southeast Asia together before returning to Canada, where they bought and renovated a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van.

The beloved couple spent five weeks touring Southeast Asia together before returning to Canada, where they bought and renovated a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van.

She had support around her. She wasn’t alone, she wasn’t trying to fight this alone. And yet she still succumbed to this terrible disease. It’s more nuanced than we can, or do, appreciate or understand, ”he said.

In a heartbreaking tribute on his personal Instagram account, Mr Bidstrup said that Ms Macmillan was ‘the best person I have ever met’.

“You were the best thing that ever happened to me. I fell in love with you the day we met, but you were still the strongest to say ‘I love you’ first. I never stopped loving you, Mountie, I hope you know that, ”he wrote.

‘I will always treasure my time with you in this world and hope to see you in the next.

Let’s spread awareness of this problem for Lee and anyone who needs it. And hold your loved ones tightly. Tell them you love them. Because life can change in the blink of an eye.

‘Life is more complex than a single social media post. Things are complicated. Don’t believe what you see online. Go out into the world and talk to your loved ones.

‘Check in. Really ask them how they are doing. Be available to help. Listen. To provide assistance. Remove the stigma from asking for help. ‘

Ms. Macmillan and Mr. Bidstrup – a paramedic from Wangaratta in Victoria – met while on a working holiday in Canada in 2016.

The couple spent the following months exploring North America and eventually made their way through South America

The couple spent the following months exploring North America and eventually made their way through South America

The couple spent the following months exploring North America and eventually made their way through South America

Mrs. Macmillan and Mr. Bidstrup - a paramedic from Wangaratta, Victoria - met while on a working holiday in Canada

Mrs. Macmillan and Mr. Bidstrup - a paramedic from Wangaratta, Victoria - met while on a working holiday in Canada

Mrs. Macmillan and Mr. Bidstrup – a paramedic from Wangaratta, Victoria – met while on a working holiday in Canada

Mr Bidstrup has since started using the hashtag '#speakupforlee' to raise awareness about mental illness and the importance of checking in with your friends

Mr Bidstrup has since started using the hashtag '#speakupforlee' to raise awareness about mental illness and the importance of checking in with your friends

Mr Bidstrup has since started using the hashtag ‘#speakupforlee’ to raise awareness about mental illness and the importance of checking in with your friends

The beloved couple then traveled through Southeast Asia together for five weeks before returning to Canada.

They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $ 12,300, which they stripped and refurbished for their road trips.

The couple spent the next few months exploring North America and eventually made their way through South America.

Mrs. Macmillan and Mr. Bidstrup also spent nearly six months in Mexico before visiting Panama.

In January of this year, the pair announced their split to their joint Instagram account, shocking their hordes of loyal followers and fans.

They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $ 12,300, which they stripped and refurbished for their road trips

They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $ 12,300, which they stripped and refurbished for their road trips

They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $ 12,300, which they stripped and refurbished for their road trips

Mr Bidstrup said he will miss his ex-partner with “every fiber” of his heart

“ Unfortunately, despite having been through so much together and trying so damn hard, some things don’t always work, no matter how much you want them, ” they wrote alongside a photo of them.

“We are very sorry to announce that the next chapter of our lives will not be lived together, as we will go our separate ways from here.

Last month was one of the toughest of our lives as we faced this new reality. We both want what’s best for each other and will continue to support each other now and in the future. ‘⠀

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636