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Heartbreaking Must-Watch 'Project' Story That Had Peter Helliar In Tears

During 'The Project' on Tuesday, Peter Helliar broke down while speaking about the death of his friend Richard Marsland.

In an absolutely heartbreaking but immensely important story, Helliar spoke about his friend and former co-host who took his own life 11 years ago, when he was just 32-years-old.

"I thought he was always happy," Helliar said, "but I was wrong."

Interviewing Marsland's parents, as well as other comedians who worked with and were close friends with him, Helliar spoke about his friend's career, life -- and the effect his suicide had on those close to him.

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"The world will not be better off without you," Marsland's mum told Helliar, "Family will not be better off. We're not better off without Richard, I'm not better off without my son... it's got to stop happening."

Helliar also spoke about wishing Marsland had reached out at some point during his struggles -- to him or any of his friends.

"Sadly this dark fog that consumed Richard wouldn't allow him to reach out to people like me," Helliar said, "I wish just once he could have found a way to share his pain with me and those around him.

"I wish he knew that for the rest of my life just how much I'll miss my friend."

After the segment, an emotional Helliar repeated the startling statistic that every day 200 Australians will attempt suicide. "Eight will die, six of them will be men," he added.

Helliar also said when he got the call from a friend, he had difficulty believing Marsland had taken his own life.

Richard Marsland.

"My mate just said they found Richard's body and I thought he had been murdered just because it was so far from what I thought could possibly happen," he told his co-hosts.

"We need to keep talking about it, we need to keep listening," he said fighting back tears. "Hopefully 11 years on we know how to have those conversations and we're better at having them.

"We've just got to keep talking and listening."

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, you can call beyondblue on 1300 224 636, Headspace on 1800 650 890, Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. If it is an emergency, call 000.

Featured image: Network 10.