World Suicide Prevention Day: Sikh man tells his story of hope

It took years for Kuljit Bhogal from Southampton to repair the relationship with his parents Credit: Kuljit Bhogal

A man who contemplated suicide after coming out as gay to his Sikh parents has spoken out in the hope of helping others going through a similar struggle.

It took years for Kuljit Bhogal from Southampton to repair the relationship with his parents but he says there is hope.

  • Special report on World Suicide Prevention Day by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee:

Kuljit Bhogal is Sikh and he's gay and for many people in the Punjabi community, including his parents, that's difficult to accept. 

So when he came out in his early 20s there was tension in the family.

  • Kuljit Bhogal

Kuljit's story is similar to what happened to Naz, who came out to his very religious parents in 2014.

Sadly, though, their reaction caused Naz to have a breakdown and he committed suicide.

Naz, who came out to his very religious parents in 2014, took his own life. Credit: Naz and Matt Foundation

The tragedy inspired his partner to start a charity to help people in the same situation. 

  • Matt Mahood-Ogston - Naz and Matt Foundation:

Fortunately for Kuljit, the relationship with his parents is now much better. 


In hindsight the whole experience has been good for us because its pushed my family into thinking about life in a different way. So they are fine with me not doing the traditional thing of getting married and having children and we just enjoy each other company a lot more.

Kuljit Bhogal

Kuljit hopes that his story will give hope Credit: Kuljit Bhogal

Kuljit hopes that his story will give hope to other people who have parents who are struggling to accept their children's sexuality. 


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Artwork has been unveiled across Brighton station to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to get people talking about the issue.

Eye catching slogans such as, 'it's ok not to be okay' and 'don't suffer in silence' have been painted on the floor aimed at catching passengers' attention.

The project is part of a campaign with Samaritans.

Artwork has been unveiled across Brighton station to raise awareness of suicide prevention Credit: ITV News Meridian

Southern and Thameslink, which operate from the station, are part of GTR who are the only rail company in the country to have a dedicated suicide prevention manager with training given to staff to spot the signs of somebody in distress.

Kelly Holyoake is a train dispatcher but her role is so much more than that and has made several life-saving interventions. She says, "I’ve made quite a few lifesaving interventions during my five-year career on the railway, but there is one that really sticks in my mind as it happened to be a young boy around my son’s age. He refused to speak to anyone else at the time, so I approached cautiously and started chatting to him. As the conversation went on, he allowed me to step forward, which was a real breakthrough."

It was really sad, he was telling me that he’d lost everything. All I could think was that’s someone’s son standing here. I encouraged him to keep on talking to me, to tell me what had happened – it took a while and lots of open questions but eventually he took my hand and let me take him to safety.

Kelly Holyoake, Train dispatcher