On Wednesday 12th October, it was 6 years ago since I attempted suicide.
It is something which I struggle to believe or talk about at times, though I know it occurred at midday that day. Since then, I have focused on making sure that day does not define me, but drives me forward to assist, inspire and motivate people across the country to increase mental health awareness, suicide prevention and help end mental illness stigma.
(My suicide attempt was brought on by distress and harassment caused by parties with a lack of knowledge in mental health. They have recently acknowledged the errors of their actions and due to forthcoming legal proceedings, I cannot say anything more).
Over the last 3 years having founded CLASP Charity and 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events, I have watched in astonishment at the growth in support and participation for what both stand to achieve. I do not believe there are enough words in the dictionary with which to thank each and every individual, who has assisted and supported CLASP Charity or participated at the 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events.
CLASP Charity serves as a platform working with people, charities, organisations and services offering support, plus understanding of mental health and seeking reduce suicides. Now, when I attend meetings with the NHS, Public Health England, other charities and organisations across the country, CLASP Charity offers a perspective not just my own but also from people, who contact CLASP Charity or attend the 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events.
'Walking Out Of Darkness' events in my opinion have been needed for a long time. The events bring parties together to share advice and knowledge from the NHS, charities, businesses and many more from a variety of different sectors; but most importantly, it is a place where individuals, families and friends with their own experience can make new connections and friends, plus create support networks to meet in person or across social media; participants also raise funds for local / national mental health and suicide prevention charities.
Over the course of the last 3 years, I have been honoured and privileged to meet people from all walks of life, create new contacts and friends via CLASP Charity and at 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events. Those who know me are already aware how thankful I am for all the support given by them and everyone.
The growth of the 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events has made me extremely proud, especially given the wide variety of people, businesses, services and organisations supporting the events such as Norman Lamb MP, Jonny Benjamin, Louise Parker and others, who along with the Department of Health, NHS England, Public Health England, Sport England, Legal & General, Business in the Community and so many more have offered assistance in numerous ways to expand and promote the events for the Public to benefit.
Personally and from my heart, the people who attend or participate at each event make a lasting memory for me to treasure, plus help me when I remember the events of October 12th 2010. When I find myself at a low point, I think of every single person at every 'Walking Out Of Darkness' event, remembering how truly amazing and inspirational each and every one of you are to me, then find myself smiling thanks to you.
I am constantly told that if CLASP Charity and 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events can help or save one person, it has all been worth it. To each one of the supporters of CLASP Charity and participants at 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events, I say 'THANK YOU' because I know you have all helped so many people including me.
I hope CLASP Charity's future work and 'Walking Out Of Darkness' events help you, your family, friends and everyone across the country.
CLASP Charity and everyone associated with us look forward to seeing you on Saturday 6th May 2017 in Birmingham and Saturday 13th May 2017 in London. You can register TODAY at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/walking-out-of-darkness-2017-10883871498
Together we can make a Difference, we can increase Awareness, we can end the Stigma & we can Save Lives!