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  1. ITV Report

Suffolk student's mental health plea after mother's suicide

Jamie Archer with his mum April. Credit: Family picture

A student from Suffolk, whose mother took her own life, has filmed a documentary urging people not to suffer in silence with their mental health.

Jamie Archer, from Halesworth, lost his mother April in 2017. His family had no idea she had been struggling with depression.

Now, Jamie has told his story in a film produced for his university course, which he hopes will encourage others to speak out and seek help.

  • Click below to watch the full report from ITV Anglia's Rob Setchell.

"I was a mummy's boy and we used to spend a lot of time together. Obviously one day you know you'll lose family members, but you don't expect to lose them that young.

"The year before it was my brother's wedding and that was just such a lovely occasion - but you always think your mum is going to be at your own wedding. That was the worst thing to come to terms with, thinking ahead and thinking what won't she be there for?"

– Jamie Archer
April Archer. Credit: Family picture

Jamie's video has had thousands of views online.

He says he's been overwhelmed by the reaction, with strangers contacting him to discuss their experiences with mental health.

"I'd like to think she'd be proud of me," said Jamie.

"She was always someone who cared about people and wanted to help people. It's an awful thing that happened but if our story can help someone - just one person - then we've done the right job."

In Suffolk alone, 62 people a year take their own lives.

That's according to the mental health charity Suffolk Mind, which is encouraging people to take part in 'Red January' this month.

It's a scheme which aims to support people's mental health by getting them active.

In 2017, there were almost 6,000 suicides in the UK and almost three quarters of those people hadn't been in touch with support services in the year before their death.

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Advice and support on mental health issues is available from the following organisations:

  • Mind. Infoline: 0300 123 3393 and mind.org.uk
  • The Mind InfoLine offers thousands of callers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. Mind helps people take control of their mental health.
  • The Samaritans. Tel: 116 123 (Free) and samaritans.org
  • The Samaritans are there to help 24 hours a day. Get in touch by telephone, email, letter and face to face in the UK andIreland. Visit befrienders.org if you live outside the UK or Ireland.
  • SADA (Seasonal Affective Disorder Association) contact@sada.org.uk and sada.org.uk
  • SADA offers support and information to sufferers of SAD and Winter Blues.
  • YoungMinds. Helpline: 0800 018 2138 and youngminds.org.uk
  • Parents' Information Service gives advice to parents or carers who may be concerned about the mental health or emotional well being of a child or young person.