Garreth Broke’s emotional tribute to his mother, who killed herself earlier this week, is something everybody should read — because nobody is immune from the effects of mental illness.
Garreth, who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, was devastated after his mum committed suicide, but took the time to write an extremely courageous, insightful, moving Facebook post, urging the world to help save lives by taking mental health issues more seriously.
In the post, he says we all know people who suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, but we just don’t know it yet.
This is absolutely true. According to mental health charity Mind, one in four people in the U.K. will experience a mental health problem each year, so if it’s not you, it’s your parent, your child, your brother, sister, friend or colleague.
“My mum took her life this week. My family and I am not ashamed of this,” begins Garreth’s post. He goes on to pay tribute to his “gentle, kind and incredibly loving” mum, as well as her local mental health trust and supportive family and friends, who tried to help her “escape her depression”.
Garreth believes that his mother didn’t get the help she needed soon enough, which is why, after several suicide attempts over the years, she took her own life last week. His advice? Talk. Talk to the people in your life who seem to be struggling with anxiety or depression. Encourage them to seek professional help. And if it is you who is battling a mental health issue: “Be honest and unashamed. Be strong enough to discuss your weaknesses before they take over.”
It’s not easy to talk about mental health. But doing so saves lives. As Garreth says, “if it is making you uncomfortable, man up and keep reading.” Or talking. Or sharing. Or trying to understand.
You can read Garreth’s full Facebook post here.
If you have been having suicidal thoughts, please get support by calling Samaritans for free on 08457 90 90 90. Visit Mind for more information on mental health issues.