Losing your Dad to suicide at 18

Losing your Dad to suicide at 18

Published by KLFM
12:00pm 10th September 2019. (Updated at 7:33pm 10th September 2019)

One moment this King's Lynn woman's dad was texting her brother - the next he'd taken his own life.

Cherrelle from King's Lynn was just 18 when her dad died. 

She's sharing her story with us as part of our week-long mental health feature. 

Cherrelle Blake Dad suicide 2

 

She still doesn't know how it came to this, 11 years on from the loss of her father.

But now she wants more of us in West Norfolk to talk about suicide so this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"Only an hour before my brother had received a text from my Dad as if everything was normal.

"So, we honestly had no idea, we didn't live with him because our parents had split up years before.

"But, we had no idea, absolutely no idea."

Cherrelle Blake Dad 1 suicide

 

In the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women and Cherrelle believes we need to change how we think about men's mental health:

"I found it very hard to talk about for years.

"Suicide is the biggest killer of young men this country and it's still something people don't want to talk about, which is amazing really.

"Men especially don't want to talk about their feelings, they don't feel like they can cry and that needs to change.

"Because once they start talking they can recognise the issue and they can start to address it."

Cherrelle Blake Dad 1 suicide 3

 

She said they didn't even know that he was struggling.

"It didn't really register - it was just such a shock and we didn't even know he was suffering with depression.

"People still don't want to talk about it or acknowledge it.

"Some say it's a cry for help or its just attention seeking, which I disagree with.

"People genuinely need help out there and there's not enough people out there offering help."

 

Cherrelle now fundraises for PAPYRUS, a charity that helps to prevent young suicide and on the 14th of September, her husband is taking part in a charity boxing event to raise money for the charity.

She's also organised a HOPEWalk in Hunstanton for the third year in a row, which raises awareness of suicide and allows people to walk in memory of a loved one.

In 2018 72 people walked to shatter the stigma around suicide and this year Cherelle would love to see 100 show up for this worthy cause.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can find who to reach out for help here. 

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