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  1. ITV Report

World Suicide Prevention Day: impacted individuals from the East of England speak out

James Archer (pictured left) and Ken Hermes (right) spoke to ITV Anglia about their experiences with suicide Credit: ITV Anglia

10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a time when individuals and organisations come together to raise awareness of ways in which we can reduce deaths by suicide.

According to the charity Samaritans, 2017 saw 6,000 people die from suicide in the UK and Ireland. ITV Anglia found out how suicide affects people in the East of England.

Cambridgeshire

According to the charity Mind, one person takes their own life every week in Cambridgeshire. There were 66 recorded suicides in the county last year.

James Archer, a father-of-two from St Neots, was seconds away from taking his own life. He believes many people - men in particular - don't feel there's a space for them to talk about their feelings.

James Archer from St Neots told his story at a Cambridge event Credit: ITV Anglia

"Going to the doctor and talking about it was the best thing I ever did. Ultimately, it's the only way you're going to get better. No one is going to knock on your door and say by the way you need to get better."

– James Archer

On World Suicide Prevention Day, James highlighted that he had suffered from chronic depression. His symptoms included feeling empty, drained, tired, "just a wreck".

He shared his experience at a World Suicide Prevention Day event in Cambridge. Around 20 local senior leaders from organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were in attendance.

Suffolk

In Suffolk, there were 67 recorded suicides last year.

Ken Hermes, from Halstead, Essex, lost his father to suicide when he was just 15-years-old. He told ITV Anglia about the day when his Mum went into the garage and found his Dad had taken his own life. The night before he had a "really nice night with his father". Ken played his guitar to him and they shared a beer together.

Barber Ken Hermes lost his dad to suicide when he was a teenager Credit: ITV Anglia

"We really were open with eachother. I don't think he'd ever been that open with me before. We spoke about everything, apart from mental health. I just wish that had come up in the conversation."

– Ken Hermes

Ken now works as a barber in Ipswich. As part of the Lions Barber Collective, he uses his work to talk to customers about mental health.

If you are in distress or need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website.