Our son and brother Pete Morris was 29 when he took his own life in September 2016. He had no history of mental illness and although he was feeling low from a recent relationship breakdown, he never indicated that he was struggling. He was a popular and charismatic artist with a wonderful sense of humour. Everybody loved to spend time with Pete; with his infectious laugh and huge smile he was sure to brighten your day. He was extremely close to his family and had a very strong network of friends that all loved him dearly. Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined Pete could contemplate doing this.
We sadly learnt very quickly that Suicide Loss is a lonely and confusing journey. In our confusion we didn’t know where to turn or where support would come from. We were catapulted into having to cope with the pain, trauma and confusion of the situation alongside having to attend case reviews and coroners court. We may forever ask ourselves why? and battle with the “ I should haves”and guilt.
This charity was set up to be the small ray of light in the darkness offering others comfort and support. In all we do we hope to offer others a glimmer of hope. We were registered by the charity commission in February 2018. It has been a very busy year but we are expanding and developing what we offer. At present we are working within Gloucestershire.
We endeavour to provide families with practical guidance and signposting to further professional support through our SOS (services offering support) packs. We try to deliver a range of services to meet the individual needs of those bereaved. This includes individual support – a listening ear, various group support meetings and an 8 week grief recovery programme. Last year we also held other bereavement events including planting the Sunflower garden, decorating stones as a memorial, a butterfly release and picnic We have a group who run the ‘storms walk’ open to all, to get together and be out in fresh air almost every Sunday afternoon.
We also want to help prevent other families having to go through this terrible experience. We aim to raise awareness around mental health and suicide both on social media and by networking locally. We will deliver accredited Applied Suicide Intervention Skill Training to the wider community and we are involved in the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership, working with other organisations and individual’s to work towards a suicide safer community. Have a look at our I am listening campaign on our website which raising the question, are you listening? If someone had thoughts of suicide would you know what to say and how important listening to them is.
For more information please visit https://www.sunflowerssuicidesupport.org.uk
One life lost to suicide it too many – everyone can play a part in making our society and local community suicide safer.