Mental health campaigner in drive to ‘talk about suicide’

Mental health campaigner in drive to ‘talk about suicide’

“LET’S talk about suicide” – that’s the message from Stevie Oliver as she launches a new awareness campaign.

Stevie, who founded mental health support group Take Ten last year, was joined by fellow members atop Scammonden Bridge at the weekend in a bid to get people discussing issues around suicide and let others know they’re not alone.

The 42-year-old had an idea about launching the campaign just last week after recently suffering another episode where she contemplated taking her own life.

Take Ten members chose to visit the well-known structure which crosses high above the M62 between Huddersfield and Manchester after hearing that police receive between one and four calls a day concerning people who may be thinking of ending their lives at the bridge.

The group wore t-shirts bearing inspirational slogans, handed out leaflets and spoke to passers-by.

Stevie, who lives in Dewsbury, said: “Everybody on that bridge was affected by suicide in some way, shape or form. Four were suicide survivors. 

“Everybody was beeping their horns on the motorway, because we were raising such awareness. It was euphoric.

“The point of (the campaign) is that if a group of people can go and stand there for five hours and divert one person, that’s amazing. Suicide affects everyone – the people who are clearing up the bodies, people who are helping the families, coroners, police, every single person. 

“If we make it as present as possible, people can see there is a reason we need to talk about suicide.”

Stevie is hoping the new campaign, which she’s running in conjunction with Take Ten, will help them raise more funds so they can support as many people as possible.

Eventually the group plans to walk from Dewsbury to Parliament to highlight their campaign.

“Our aim is to take it to Parliament and say, ‘we are this serious about how much we need to raise awareness that we will walk to you because we can’t afford train fares’.

“This is what I started Take Ten for, to raise awareness of mental health and suicide because I’d just attempted to take my own life. 

“If I can put all this hurt, pain and anguish into helping others reach out, then that’s what I’ll do.  I have to, it’s my purpose.”

For more information about the campaign, visit Take Ten’s Facebook page or email stevietaketen

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