A memorial service was held at Saints’ stadium recently for those affected by suicide.
130 people turned up to remember their loved ones at the event which was hosted by Listening Ear’s AMPARO service (provides support following suicide) and led by the Saints RLFC chaplain, Paul Johnson.
The evening saw members of the public sharing their personal stories, a memorial wall that displayed photos of lost loved ones and a gospel singer who sang poignant songs to commemorate their lives.
The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens and a number of support services were in attendance including SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide), State of Mind (a charity that promotes positive mental health for sportsmen and women), Suicide Bereavement UK and the Healthy Living Team.
A number of speakers – including Danny Sculthorpe and Ian Smith from the world of rugby league, and Anne Cunliffe from the SOBS service – also shared their stories of how suicide has affected them.
Anne spoke about her son Andrew who she lost to suicide.
“It has been a long journey for me and my family since the loss of my son Andrew 17 years ago,” she said.
“The memorial service for me was an acknowledgment as to how dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide is so difficult to come to terms with. I hope that by sharing my own experiences and some of the happy memories I have of Andrew, I have helped others to continue on their own journey and in time remember the life that their loved ones lived and the happier times.”
A number of photographs of loved ones were left at the event. If you attended and left your photograph on the memorial wall, please contact Nattalie Kennedy on 01744 671056 to arrange to get your photograph(s) back.
If you have been affected by suicide and would like support, the following services are available:
Tel: 0330 088 9255
Tel: 0300 111 5065
If you are worried about someone, visit https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/public-health-and-wellbeing/staying-well/mental-health-and-wellbeing/ for information about services and other support.
Main photo – The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens joined a number of support services at Saints’ stadium for a service of reflection for those affected by suicide.