Our daughter and sister, Amber, was dearly loved by ourselves and her many friends and extended family. We are devastated that, despite professional medical and counselling support and medication, Amber succumbed to her demons and took her life on April 13 2022, a month before her 20th birthday.
Background interests & passions
For most of Amber's journey, she led a fulfilling and vibrant life. She loved music, singing, sprinting & cross-country, netball, playing AFL, poetry, being in choirs & musicals, being in nature, spending time with animals, friends and family. She loved organising parties and gatherings where music was a vital valued connector. Amber saw relays as the ultimate event, because team collaboration was key for her. "Many parts make a whole" was always her philosophy. For her 19th birthday she bought herself a kitten, Jasper, from the RSPCA, who she loved & nurtured. As a young child she kept rabbits and guinea pigs.
Amber loved school and learning and had a creative, questioning, intelligent mind. She was a high achieving student, and relished leadership roles, which she undertook with pride and passion, and a gentle humility. She encouraged others to follow their passions and was eclectic in her interests and pursuits, with an alternative approach to fashion and music. Always the philosopher, she was adamant about alternative pathways and non traditionalist in seeking a sense of self in her teenage years. This did not mean taking any short cuts, and a respected athletics coach gave her and a close friend & fellow teammate, the joint award for "always running outside the circle." She loved art and photography and teaching herself and others to play the guitar and ukulele. She was a perfectionist often to her detriment.
Music was her main passion. She loved supporting friends who sang professionally, going to open mic sessions, and singing duets and jazz and improvising.
Amber had a strong commitment to social justice causes and a school outreach and musical trip to Nauru had a pivotal profound influence on her. She returned with a new outlook on life and sense of obligation to those less fortunate.
In friendships she was fiercely loyal and protective of those she loved.
Mental Illness Journey
Beginning in mid-2019, Amber suffered from severe anxiety and depression as well as an emerging psychosis with no formal diagnosis of this more complex aspect of her mental illness. She was always open about her mental health struggle, calling it her "curse." This insight gave her empathy with others who were suffering. She was always ready to listen, validate and support her friends. Many of them talk to us now of her valued compassion and care, even in the depths of her own suffering. Sadly, Amber discharged herself from key medical services and stopped medication in the last months of her life which precipitated a steep decline with tragic outcomes.
Throughout her illness Amber struggled to connect with mental health services that could help her. In her last days, while in crisis, the acute mental health care services tragically failed her.
The Mission of AWL
The mission of AWL is to ensure that mental health assessment, diagnosis and treatment for young people is dramatically improved so that such painful and preventable suffering can be avoided. This must include care and compassion for patients, and communication, collaboration, gathering and sharing of collateral information between family, carers, GP’s, psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors.
- Richard, Tamara, Bailey and Monty Wraith
Tributes to Amber
MUSIC Featuring Amber and friends
Amber Wraith and Johnny De Simone
'Love Sweet Love'
'Letters to a Tree'
Original music and lyrics composed by Araminta
Roxy Henry & Tiana Russo
Roxy and Tiana recorded this duet, Castle on a Cloud, for Amber’s memorial service. It was the lullaby Tamara sang to Amber.