World Suicide Prevention Day, Friday 10 September 2021: Karen's story
10 Sep 2021
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Karen, one of our service administrators, shares her story to raise awareness of suicide and reduce the stigma around it.
“On Saturday 25th April 2020, four weeks into the first lockdown, I lost my beautiful daughter Abigail. She was just 27 years old.
Abi died by suicide. This has been a difficult thing for me to say out loud, but 18 months on, I am just about managing to say it without breaking down.
Abi was bright, energetic, hardworking, intelligent, articulate and had the most gorgeous smile; but she was plagued by poor mental health which eventually cost her her life. Not a day goes by without me thinking of her and wishing things could have been different.
I created a social media tribute page so those who knew Abi could share their memories and photos, and this quickly turned into a fundraising and awareness page.
A little later on, we made the decision to join forces with Sea Sanctuary, a mental health charity based in Falmouth, Cornwall, and set up a bursary in Abi’s name. From this, the Abigail’s Army was created. The purpose of Abigail’s Army is to raise awareness of poor mental health in our society and provide support and early intervention therapies to young people. I am proud to say that since November 2020, we have managed to raise over £7,000.
It will come as no surprise that I am passionate about improving attitudes and provision for those suffering with poor mental health. I believe we need to do more than talk about ‘talking about’ mental health, be ready to have those difficult conversations, and break down some of the stereotypical attitudes that sadly still remain.
I will never let Abi’s memory fade, and I will do everything I can to have her remembered as the beautiful, capable young woman she was. Abi was leant to me for the shortest time, she lived her life well. The invisible thread will never be broken, Abi will be in my heart forever more; her story will be told.”
If you’re finding things challenging, please know that you’re not alone. There are a number of organisations that can provide support, including:
- Sea Sanctuary: seasanctuary.org.uk
- Pete’s Dragons: www.petesdragons.org.uk
- Mind: www.mind.org.uk
- Samaritans: www.samaritans.org
- Papyrus: www.papyrus-uk.org
- Op COURAGE (for veterans, service leavers and reservists): www.nhs.uk/opcourage
Find out more about Abigail’s Army here: www.facebook.com/Abigails-Army-111691074091312