World

The women united by grief after losing a loved one to suicide

Suicide is not easy to talk about, but this country needs to face up to the problem we have with it.

3,509 men, women and children in Wales took their own lives between 2008-2018. It’s a mind boggling number.

Kale, Paul and Jacob are three of them.

Family photos

On the day the Office of National Statistics released the latest number of suicides in the UK, ITV News has brought three women together to talk about the three men who were at the centre their lives.

Two are mothers, one is a daughter.

They live in different parts of country and each story is different – but they all share a horrible bond.

Georgina’s father Paul took his own life in 2015.

Georgina Titley

“It was a huge shock – it wasn’t expected because he always seemed so happy and bubbly. They say time is a healer but it really isn’t – yes it ensures that every day you can get up and go to work and do the things that are expected of you, but it doesn’t heal your heart. It will forever be shattered.”

Nicola Abraham

Jacob Abraham died four years ago at the age of 24. Since his death, his mother Nicola has campaigned to help young people suffering from anxiety and depression – and break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

She established the Jacob Abraham Foundation in his memory.

“There were no signs of any mental health problems. He was very popular, he was hard-working, he loved going to the gym.

“The biggest contributing factor that we believe that played a part in Jacob’s suicide is cocaine. He’d taken cocaine the night before [his death] and we believe that the come down from cocaine was something he couldn’t manage that day.”

Kerry

Kerry from Amlwch lost her son Kale last Christmas and said despite asking, she is still waiting for help.

“Kale was a lovely young lad. He did well in school and he went to the merchant navy and then developed psychosis – he could see and hear things.

“He was promoting mental health by putting videos up of his medication that he uses during the day – and saying don’t be scared to talk.

“I felt relief [when he died]. Relief for my son to do what he did for what he was going through. He knew he was going to do it one day.

“It’s been seven months since his death. It’s been very difficult.”

The UK has seen its first increase in suicides in five years.

In Wales, the numbers have fallen slightly – but it is still the second highest country in the UK.

324-Welsh suicides in 2018
252-of those suicides are men
97-were women who died from suicide

One significant statistic is the 73% rise in the number of Welsh women taking their own lives.

The ONS said the numbers had “increased significantly” since 2016.

Rob

Georgina, Nicola and Kerry believe more needs to be done to support people struggling with their mental health.

They also want more support for families who have experienced suicide.

Above all, they say suicide should not be a taboo topic – and by speaking out, they hope they can change attitudes.

If you’ve been affected by suicide or want to speak to anyone 24/7 you can ring the Samaritans on 116 123

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