I will be sky diving in the Midlands on 1 August 2016 from around 10,000ft and will be reaching up to 120mph for the charity The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, who work closely with the SOS Silence of Suicide initiative. Proceeds will help TKPG and SOS Silence of Suicide establish their first drop in centre for vulnerable and suicidal people, which will be open 24 hours a day.
Kaleidoscope Plus work with those affected by mental health issues and help those most vulnerable. They provide support and facilities for them in order for them to learn to manage these issues and ultimately, beat them. I first learnt about this extraordinary group through SOS Silence of Suicide, an organisation that actively encourages open discourse on the subjects of suicide and depression through a series of public initiatives and media interaction. Their aim is to end the silence and eradicate the stigma. This is run by Michael Mansfield QC and his partner Yvette Greenway and was set up after Michael’s daughter sadly took her own life in May, 2015.
Up until July 2014, I had never encountered anyone with mental health problems, nor anyone who had attempted or succeeded in suicide. 29th July 2014 changed my life. 2 Weeks after my wedding, my dad took his own life. He was found by his niece’s husband after he didn’t show up for work, didn’t answer his phone and his company car tracker hadn’t moved. He had hung himself in his own home. He was my best friend.
We had no idea. No idea that he was feeling that depressed, that ending his life was the only logical way, for him, to escape it. Now I know we all have our down days, but could you imagine feeling depressed, and I mean chronically depressed, so low and such a burden that you have to end it all? Physically cause such an injury that you kill yourself. My dad left behind 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren (at the time), 5 siblings and more nieces and nephews that I can count, not to mention his friends. He never even got to meet my youngest daughter. My eldest will probably not remember him.
How could no one have seen this coming? why did we not help more? I ask myself this every single day. But we simply didn’t know.
Those who are affected by mental health problems wear a mask, and a very good one at that. To get people talking about the elephant in the room, the taboo subjects of mental health and suicide, are key aims of my chosen beneficiaries. I promised myself that my dad’s death would not be in vain. I would make a difference. Even if one person benefits from me doing this, that is one life saved. One family that doesn’t have to go what I went though. One community not devastated. A daughter not burying her dad, siblings not burying their brother.
I am only asking for a small donation, if you can please spare £1 to help someone in the most desperate time of their life. Imagine if you or someone you love was in that situation. £1 could make all the difference in the world. And even if you can’t donate, please share this page. Awareness is our greatest weapon. If we can get talking about this, then it won’t be so taboo, people won’t feel ashamed to ask for help and we can beat this. I know it is a utopian view than depression and suicide didn’t exist. But anything has to be better than someone taking their own life every 90 seconds in this world.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you understand why I am fighting for the help that so many deserve. My dad meant so much to me and I won’t have him die in vain.