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While Pauline Hanson Raged About Muslims Another Politician Tried To Unite The Country

"I want to do what I can to help pierce the loneliness, the desperation and the blackness that people who suffer depression feel."

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Newly elected federal Liberal MP Julian Leeser began his maiden speech recounting the night his father suicided.

"Seared on my mind from that night was the speed of [his mother's] approach and her scream as she flung open the door of my bedroom, sobbing, 'Dad's gone, Dad's gone'," Leeser told the parliament.

He described discovering his dad's pyjamas in a pile and a note - "I just can't cope" - scrawled in red ink, hours before police found him at the bottom of notorious suicide spot The Gap in Sydney's east.

"Suicide, they used to say, is a victimless crime, but they never count the loved ones left behind," he said.

"The number of older people taking their own lives is increasing - my own father was fifty five."

Over the past two decades governments have spent millions on mental health and suicide prevention but it is "a fight we are losing", Leeser, who replaced Phillip Ruddock in the NSW seat of Berowra, said.

He vowed to change this by being an advocate for "better mental health policy" during his time in parliament.

"In my own electorate we have had more than 100 people take their own lives in the last eight years and across Australia eight people die by suicide every day."

He called on Australians to consider rebuilding "caring communities" instead of treating depression as "purely a medical issue".

"I have seen active engagement in community combat loneliness and enable people to see a world outside themselves," Leeser said.

"As a member of this House I want to do what I can to help pierce the loneliness, the desperation and the blackness that people who suffer depression feel."

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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