Brother and sister who lost father to suicide write book to help other children deal with grief

Credit: ITV Wales

A brother and sister who lost their father to suicide have written a book to help other children deal with grief.

"Mum, what's suicide?" reads Trystan Picton-Jones.

He's reading Twm's story, which is loosely based on his own.

He lost his dad when he was very small.

"I didn't know that talking would really help. So I just kept it in until I was ready to say it."

Now he and his sister Mali have helped write a book to help other children deal with grief.

It's part of the Dan-Y-Bont series, set up by the DPJ Foundation, a rural mental health charity.

Mali says her grief has been a journey.

"I've got my mum, my nan, my grandad," she said.

"Everything will be okay. As soon as you can talk to someone and you can get out of the feeling of being stuck under deep water.

"We probably struggled realising, and knowing what to say. It's a difficult conversation to get around."

Their mum Emma Sullivan says she wants people to realise this is something "we have to talk about."

She said: "We're all affected by grief.

"I think the statistic is that 1 in 29 children will lose a parent or a sibling.

"So these are conversations that we've got to start having, and I think books are one of the best ways we can start those conversations and get children talking about things like that."

The family say they've already seen rural schools ordering copies, as Agriculture Mental Health Week draws to a close.

Louise John, who is the headteacher of a school where these books are being used, said: "Out of tragedy, hopefully, there will be support now, in a very child-focused way for many other families that find themselves experiencing something similar.

"Already I've been contacted by other headteachers locally to say that they've actually taken a delivery of the books and that they already see them in use."

You can find advice and support here.

Samaritans is available day or night, 365 days a year.

You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

The Mental Health Helpline for Wales is available to take your call any time, day or night. Freephone 0800 132 737 or text 'help" to 81066 (charged at standard network rate)

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