Daughter opens second suicide prevention centre in her father Martin Gallier's name

Video Report by Andrew Fletcher


A suicide prevention charity setup by a woman whose father took his own life is expanding after making 24,500 life saving interventions.

The Martin Gallier Project has opened a walk-in support centre in Chester to add to its original crisis help unit in New Ferry, Wirral.

The charity has grown rapidly since its formation as many people have struggled with their mental health amid pandemic isolation and the financial pain of the cost-of-living crisis.

The charity offers drop-in support to anyone facing "suicidal crisis." Credit: The Martin Gallier Project

Chief Executive Jessica Gallier opened the project in 2019, two years after the death of her father Martin.

She believes the "toxic" stigma that led him not to ask for help needs tackling on a "larger scale."

Jessica said: "He was brought up in a time when men don't ask for help, men don't struggle, men provide for their family."

"It's toxic," she added, "because that's what stops people asking for support.

"If we can combat that message with an even stronger message of hope... you are not alone, you are not strange or weird for having these thoughts... that's our job.

"People say to us day in, day out, 'you saved my life, the Martin Gallier Project has saved my life', and that is just beyond comprehension.

"I hope my dad would be very proud, I suppose it's a way he gets to live on through all those people.

"It helps me tremendously, which is very selfish, but it does help me to mitigate that grief knowing there are all those people who are alive because of my dad."

Jessica's father Martin died in 2017. Credit: Gallier family handout

When Martin Gallier took his life, at the age of 55, it was not his first suicide attempt.

After the inquest, Jessica said she thought there had to be a "better way of supporting people in suicidal crisis."

She decided she could keep "banging this drum" to existing services or open her own support charity.

"When I lost my dad to suicide I couldn't settle until I did something about it," she said.

"I thought, there's another way here, there's got to be a better way of supporting people in a suicidal crisis, what did my dad need at that time and how can we create that, and that's what we did with the Martin Gallier Project."

The new walk-in support centre in Chester is the first beyond the charity's Wirral roots. Credit: ITV News

Suicide intervention worker Deryn Basnett told ITV News the aim with each person who asks for help is to "create a safety plan" which keeps them "safe from suicide".

She said: "There's no barriers to access support to anybody over the age of 16.

"You can walk in off the street. We accept people to refer online. We accept referrals from other professionals.

"We don't have any waiting lists. It's immediate access to non-clinical support."

Training sessions in suicide prevention, in spotting the signs that someone is struggling, will also be offered at the Chester site. Credit: The Martin Gallier Project

Jessica and her team also offer help to those bereaved by suicide and training to help people intervene to save lives.

"The important thing," she told ITV News, "is to reach out and ask for help."


In an episode of From the North we ask how can we help our mental health during the most difficult times in life?

A warning, this podcast touches on a number of issues from addiction and terminal illness to bereavement, bullying and being open about our sexuality.

Worried about mental health?

CALM

CALM, or the Campaign Against Living Miserably, runs a free and confidential helpline and webchat – open from 5pm to midnight every day, for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems.

It also supports those bereaved by suicide, through the Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP).

  • Phone their helpline: 0800 585858 (Daily, 5pm to midnight)

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James’ Place

Suicide prevention centre in Liverpool offering life-saving support to men in suicidal crisis.

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Mind

Mind is a mental health charity which promotes the views and needs of people with mental health issues.

It provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

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PAPYRUS

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice you can contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINE247 is the charity’s confidential 24 hour helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.

HOPELINE247 is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.

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Samaritans

Samaritans is an organisation offering confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

  • Phone 116 123 (a free 24 hour helpline)

  • Email: jo@samaritans.org

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YoungMinds

YoungMinds is a resource with information on child and adolescent mental health, but also offers services for parents and professionals.

It is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health, and wants to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it

  • YoungMinds Textline - Text YM to 85258

  • Phone Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4pm)

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