So why am I passionate about contributing to mental health awareness? It would not be my first choice to talk so openly about my story if I am honest with you, but I feel since I lost my dad to suicide three years ago, I have learnt so much about the crippling disease that is depression that I have to pass on what I have learnt....
One sunny autumn afternoon 18 months ago, two policemen showed up at my doorstep to tell me that my son's body had been found nearby. Apparently Saagar had ended his own life. They handed me his belongings but I was convinced they had made a mistake. This was not within the realm of possibilities. He is a handsome talented young man of 20 with a fabulous education and everything to live for. How could this be? He had a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder but the doctors had me believe that he was getting better. No one ever mentioned the word 'suicide' to me.
By taking time to provide support, we help people when they most need it; we can help improve the health and wellbeing of carers and bereaved people; and we can build compassionate communities which show that - in the words of the Dying Well Community Charter - caring for one another at times of crisis and loss is everybody's responsibility.
I don't want to live my life as "Fiona's daughter". There are a few people I know at the moment who think of me this way, and it feels like such a burden. It also doesn't do justice either to me or to Mum. Mum wasn't just a mother: she was so much more than that. And I may be her daughter, but I am so much more than that, too.
There was a time when only two things in life were certain; death and taxes. Now there's a third certainty; that the imprint we leave online will last long after we are gone. By 2012, just eight years after Facebook launched, 30 million profile owners had died. According to some estimates, 8,000 Facebook users die every day, leaving behind profiles, photos, likes, and memories.
Nobody saw it coming. Nobody knew that a day that had started just as any other was going to end so tragically. Like many of us bereaved by suicide, I asked myself many, many questions over and over again. Why didn't I see how Mark was feeling? Why didn't I pick up on the signs? Why didn't I realise that our call was to be our final call?
It is really weird knowing that if I lose a memory, and only Mum would have remembered it, it is now a nothing. It's a gap. I don't know where it went or what it turned into but it's not there anymore. It's been replaced by space and silence. For the rest of my life, that gap will always be a gap; there will never again be a piece of memory that perfectly fits.
The morning of 5 May, 2013, started like any other morning. My husband, our four children and I were staying in our holiday home in North Cornwall for the bank holiday weekend and what a weekend it promised to be, the weather was glorious. After a morning of walking on the beach, sand castle making and splashing in the sea, we decided to go out on our speedboat, a RIB, and had a heavenly afternoon picnicking and driving up and down the stunning Camel estuary. It was the first time that we had been out on the boat all year and everyone was in a good mood, laughing and screaming as we rode the choppy waves. It was only when we were coming back into our mooring that disaster struck.
Obviously the lion's share of my life has been dedicated to training, pushing my body to its physical limits and enduring all that comes with that lifestyle. Not only has this always helped me stay in shape, it has also helped me keep a clear head, to focus my mind when all around me may be chaotic. This, thankfully, has served me well in the last month.
New love doesn't erase old loss and cure grief, but brings with it complicated emotions and painful reminders. It's not easy living in a household that has only come together because of the death of other people, but losing those we love has made us cherish what we have now. I was never going to fall in love again, and no one is more surprised than me that I did.
When I ordered new bedding (my new place has a bigger bed), it reminded me of that day I spent with Mum in York. A happy memory, but a memory nonetheless, one that can never be repeated. Packing up my things, I relived moments that have happened in that room. It was my home, my safe place, throughout Mum's illness.
As a bereaved parent it's bewildering to me that anyone needs convincing that giving birth to a dead or dying (in my case) child is devastating and traumatic, and therefore worth targeting as a health care priority. Or that the case has to be made that many of these tragedies are potentially avoidable, even when national audits have been telling us this for two decades.
We knew Dad's illness was terminal, none of us were ready for how quickly it progressed. None of us were prepared to say goodbye quite so soon. When I received the call to say Dad had died, I felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. Nothing you do can steady your soul for that moment, the moment your life changes forever.
Maybe death isn't something you really want to think about at the start of the New Year (let's face it, there are more fun things to think about). Perhaps you think you're not old enough to discuss it. Maybe it's not the most exciting of topics to chat about over a few pints, or maybe it is, but either way I challenge you to talk about it.