Losing your brother to suicide was like ‘trying to put a puzzle together’
A woman who heartbreakingly lost her brother to suicide is campaigning for better access to support in Wiltshire.
Clare Williamson launched a campaign to break the stigma around suicide after her brother Mark Harper took his own life.
Melksham’s wife was speaking to this newspaper after 59 deaths by suicide were recorded last year, up from 55 the year before.
Clare knows firsthand the effects of poor mental health on people and the lasting impact of suicide on a person’s family and friends.
After losing her 45-year-old brother Mark to suicide in 2011, Clare described him as “trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together”.
“It was a shock because we didn’t know he could get to this place in his mind, and it’s only looking back that you put things together – it’s like trying to put the pieces back together. of a puzzle,” Clare said.
Discussing the issue in Wiltshire, she added: ‘There is not enough understanding about it and there is still too much stigma around suicide.
“And there’s nothing that I know of that actually supports people bereaved by suicide in Wiltshire, the closest place being in Bristol, so that’s something that needs to change.”
Saturday marked World Suicide Prevention Day, but it came amid worrying statistics about the rising number of suicides in the county.
The figures only include registrations in 2021, meaning they could include deaths that occurred in 2020 but were registered the following year due to the disruption to coroners’ inquests caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Reacting to the rise in numbers in Wiltshire, Clare added: ‘The big reveal for the people of Wiltshire should not just be about the number but how it has changed because unfortunately we are seeing more and more young people , especially men in their twenties. affected by suicide.
Clare hosted The Party for Life event which took place on September 10th at Sky Bar, Oak Stadium, Melksham Town FC and will feature musical acts with the aim of raising positive awareness of the issue, getting people talking as well as raise funds for the cause.
For confidential crisis assistance, you can contact the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 from any phone.