As a mental health practitioner suicide touches my life more than the average person. But it's been on my mind more of late. That's why I'm talking about it here and my social media posts on my dementia sites focus on it today.
Last week Simon, a son of friends, took his own life at an age just beyond childhood. I last met him at Chagstock where he was volunteering. He usually camped with his mum, brother and sisters but this time he was there alone. I remember him wearing a great big top hat. He went out of his way to come and have a chat.
Did you know suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45? I didn't but it makes sense that it would be so. Food for thought for our policy makers who decide how public money is spent. Another reminder is the beautiful old tree on the green just along the street. There, George, a twenty year old local boy hanged himself last year. His friends held vigils there after his death and still leave flowers.
Simon's family are requesting that donations are made to CALM, Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity that aims to prevent male suicide. My tiny piece of activism today is sharing this link to raise awareness of the valuable work that they do. There's valuable information here about getting help for yourself or someone you're worried about.