Firstly, let me say I’m not a mental health expert. Over the last year or so I’ve read a lot about the issue and feel more knowledgeable about the subject.

What I would say is this. There is something we all can do to help people like Sam at specific low points in their lives. Reading about mental health, promoting it just isn’t enough. It’s the what to do that makes a difference and may save a life.

I recently went through all Sam’s things. Not an easy thing to do. I’ve mad...e wardrobes so his clothes can be hung up and kept nice. His tshirts folded, his PlayStation games stacked and his books lined up.
What struck me was he was such a carbon copy of me. It had never struck me before how he was just like me. It was a wardrobe full of things I could have owned.
That also meant I’d passed over my weaknesses too not just my tastes. The lowest points in my life had always been when relationships had failed.
It stands to good reason that my son, at his low point would feel the same.

Outwardly, Sam seemed to be coping. He was out partying hard and being a young man. So I never asked the simple question of how are you son? But knowing myself and my own past feelings I should have done.

So my advice to everyone is when those around us hit these low points. Make sure you ask, question and encourage those people to talk and open up.

Simple advise to follow. I truly believe it will help.

Leave no stone unturned. Take nothing for granted.

You may not get a second chance.

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Imagine a virus we don't fully understand is killing young men in record numbers. It kills three times as many British men as women, although nothing adequately explains why.
The government confirms that while almost all other leading causes of death are being slowly eroded by medical and social progress, deaths caused by this virus are at their highest for decades.
Yet the money we spend on researching and treating the problem stands at a fraction of what we spend on those...

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This is a beautifully written piece.
A family coping after suicide.…/went-walk-returned-husband-su…

After her husband’s suicide, Kate Harding was overwhelmed by guilt and shame

Firstly, sorry for not posting for a while.

I have been internally trying to adapt to life without Sam and hoped by now to have started counselling.

19 was set up after my son, Sam took his life and therefore 19 in some way is my way of trying to honour his life and hopefully prevent another senseless death.


I’m still not sure where 19 should go. Any feedback or comments are always welcome.

I’m going to try again with the shoes idea, as a way of representing every Suicide that has occurred here in Wales since 2010.

Here is a post that gives some info about teen suicides.

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Newsbeat’s investigation started with the events leading up to the suicide of 14-year-old Izzy Dix. But it soon became clear there are more teenagers like her.
January 11

My son Sam, worked for a Cardiff based company called CMB engineering.

Last week I was looking through Sam’s suits and found his interview invite letter and some pre interview notes I had written for him. That was exactly four years ago he had that interview.

Sam was bright but always wanted a trade and loved engineering. CMB was a perfect fit for him and he made many good friends there....
Personally, I could not be happier that he did work there.

I’m going in to CMB on Monday to collect £1,850.00 for 19 that CMB has raised.

Will anything ever bring Sam!

But it is very very humbling that his workmates have raised this and other monies last year in his memory.

To Steve and Christine Borley, I’d like to say a huge thank you, and that thank you goes out to all at CMB family.

Here is a picture of the CMB team last year after climbing Ben Nevis.

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January 11

Next Monday, dubbed to be the “most depressing day of the year”, is nearly upon us.

We know that a healthy job and working environment is crucial to a healthy home life and that it’s much easier to deal with many personal circumstances if you feel happy, confident and secure at work. Now more than ever we are seeing individuals racing from one busy moment to the next before collapsing into bed, then getting up and doing it again tomorrow. The cost is that individuals are not... operating anywhere near their best, or even dropping out completely.

So here’s some ideas on how you might want to tackle burn-out in your workplace:-

· Slow down. Don’t expect too much of your colleagues and don’t be giving gruelling targets or workloads. Encourage regular breaks, a bit of fresh air for 10 mins can do the world of wonders. Really helps with refocussing and recharging.

· Recognise good work. Staff can feel demotivated at the best of times, especially if they’re feeling overworked and their achievements are going unnoticed. It’s important that employers recognise a good job being done when they see it, even just a “thank you” won’t go amiss.

· Keep them in the loop. Are you keeping your employees up to date with the growth of the business or key business news? Make them feel part of the brand, of the culture and share the company values with them. It will inspire them and motivate them to do a better job if they feel involved and part of the bigger picture.

· Break the silence. Mental health is still a taboo subject in some workplaces, but it’s really important to recognise mental health and deal with it as soon as any signs are shown. By creating a supportive workplace, it will encourage anybody suffering to come forward if they are experiencing a problem.

Remember this is not just a January fad, mental health is HUGE at the moment, and especially in the workplace. We have teamed up with a specialist Mental Health trainer and will be offering training sessions in the next few months. Watch this space for further information about how you can recognise the signs of mental health in your workplace and support your colleagues with any issues.

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January 8

I’ve read this article twice this morning.

I started it because it spoke about grief. Very relevant to my state of mind.

It then talks more about depression and why drugs simply are not the silver bullet. I’m not saying they don’t work, but this explains why they don’t always work.

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In this extract from his new book, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach
January 5
It all began at school, with A-star expectations and a horror of failure. Now we’re on social media platforms, locked into a losing game, says the freelance writer Daisy Buchanan
January 4

Been a long time coming but here is the letter from Young Minds about our £5,000.00 donation in December.
Thank you to everyone that helped and contributed to this.

No automatic alt text available.

Firstly, I just want to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.

Then I just want to thank everyone for their support through 2017.

People have baked, cycled, run, climbed, hiked and completed various things to raise awareness and money for 19.


So has it made a difference?

I could say about the £10,000 we’ve donated to National Charities that focus on mental health.

I could say about the people helped with counselling after bereavement from suicide.

What really sums up what we have achieved this year was made clear by a message I received recently.
It was from a father with three sons. He had heard about Sam and the decision he had made. He had heard he was not the type of stereotypical person that you think about when you think about young suicide.
He made a decision to talk to his sons about Sam. To ensure his sons knew he was there for them, that he did not want them to ever feel that they couldn’t ask for help and that he was there for them.

Nineteen may raise money for lots of good causes.
That’s always going to do good.
What 19 stands for in my mind is understanding that suicide is a huge big deal and kills far too many young people.
Every one of us can make a difference. Maybe fundraising isn’t for you. I get that. Be there for you family, friends, schoolmates and colleagues. Ask one simple question........How are you? Are you ok?

My grief is so terrible that I cannot tell you in words how desperate it feels. Loosing anyone to suicide is heartbreaking.

So let’s do our best to not let it happen to anyone we know and love.

Again, thank you to everyone for every kind message, every penny raised, mile run or cycled, mountain climbed or cake baked.

I wish you and all you love Merry Christmas xx

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To celebrate Sam’s life and not just be sad at his passing. This is an ideal time to help others through the fantastic donations we have received through 2017.

19 is so small, that with some of our funds we can help larger organisations achieve things in at a National level.

We are therefore donating £5,000.00 to a charity the focuses on mental health issues for young people called “Young Minds”.


Here is its link and I hope you agree it is a fantastic charity.

Thank you to all those that ran, baked, climbed, cycled and did other amazing things to raise funds for 19.

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In the next few weeks, the government will publish a Green Paper setting out its plans on children’s mental health. Here’s what it should include.

As many of you know, 19 was started after the passing of my son, Sam.
He passed away aged just 19 and was in hospital for 19 days before he passed away.

19 never was or is about fund raising. It’s about awareness and support.


The terrible fact that men under 45 are most likely to die at their own hands still shocks me now.

So suicide beats cancer, drugs, car accidents, violence and crime as the biggest killer of men.

It was a year ago that Sam was in hospital and his family were with him to the end.

Mental health issues don’t just make you miserable, they can kill you. Find help, talk to someone and live your life.

To everyone that was there for Sam a year ago thank you. To the amazing team at The Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, thank you for your dedication and for your care of my son for those 19 days.

This is Sam. Young, handsome, funny and working hard.

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A huge thank you to Natasha and her friends for raising a staggering £3,259.50 by running in The Cardiff Half Marathon.

Sam’s life and death sent ripples through lots of lives. We all do our bit to honour his memory and hopefully help others not to take the same path.

Thank you again to Natasha and her friends xxxx

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I recently posted that I wanted to collect shoes.

A strange request! Very strange!

However, there is a plan.


Each pair of shoes collected will be placed on mass, to show the numbers of people that have taken to suicide just in Wales. Each pair of shoes represents one person that took their own life.

The data I have collected so far for the first five years of this decade are that 1,650 people took their lives between 2011-2015. Just in Wales!

Sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, friends......all gone.

I should get 2016 figures soon but I expect the number to push the above to around 2,000 souls.

I’m saddened, shocked and feel even more passionate that we have to make this happen.

I have had some responses to have shoe bins placed to collect shoes for 19 but I need more. Can more businesses, schools, sports centres etc help do this?

This will happen. Somehow I will get 2,000 shoes.

It will be such a huge statement to see 2,000 pairs placed outside The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Castle, Swansea beach etc.

No money required, just some time and effort.

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I previously posted this. There is talk of it being “prescribed” by the NHS for people suffering from mental health issues.

No pills or chemicals just some “forest bathing”. Sounds fab to me.…/entries/b2c35c4f-5f8d-47f2-90d7-b274…

The Japanese craze set to takeover British woodland

Someone I know was suffering from mental health issues at work. Instead of offering support, they were vilified and bullied out of their job.

So I have seen how employers should NOT deal with mental health issues in the work place.

Poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year, a report concludes.
We will never have girls who love and cherish themselves if we continue to burden them with failings that are hardly ever theirs, says freelance writer Cerys Howell