Our Gobaith Cyrmru campaigner Rachel Degaetano is backing a call for compulsory mental health education to tackle the suicide rates of our young people.
The Barry Mum, still still struggling with the loss of her beloved son Chae, was interviewed on BBC Wales about her support for the Samaritan’s Cymru Campaign for compulsory mental health Education, and how it may have helped her boy.
Rachel Degaetano, who lost her 21 year-old in April 2015, also spoke of her fundraising fight for a support centre in our town, that she is personally, and painfully, aware is much-needed in Barry.
She spoke of the roots of the campaign and the support of our town and beyond.
Gobaith Cymru’s huge Barry backing has lead to a partnership with the well-established Jacob Abraham Foundation (JAF), The registered charity, soon to be renamed Suicide Support Cymru. They have a suicide support centre set up by Jacob’s mother Nicola after the 24 year- old killed himself in October 2015.
Working together, Gobaith Cymru hopes to replicate JAF’s work to: help prevent suicide through direct intervention with vulnerable people; raise awareness on mental health and/or suicide issues; promote positive mental health, and support people bereaved through suicide, in Barry and the Vale.
Rachel says meeting Nicola ‘changed her life’ as it gave her gave her the direction she needed, the experience of how to get there, a charity to work with – and, of course, a bond with another Mum devastated by the loss of a much-loved son.
From this platform, the Charity has gone from strength to strength with numerous fundraisers, it has been named Colcot Arms Charity of the Year, and has secured premises – watch this space!
She said: “Thank you so much to Nicola for her help. Over the next year we intend to fill in numerous grant applications, set up events, hold coffee mornings and pub quizzes, run marathons, climb mountains and jump out of planes. We ask you to sponsor and donate throughout the year. But mostly we ask for your support.
We were too late for our children. Please support us to support the young adults of our community. We intend to do all that we can to help save lives and ensure another family doesn’t have to endure the devastation that losing a loved one to suicide causes. Thank you.”
#itsoknottook is all about having the courage to stand up and say ‘enough is enough, the strength to keep fighting for our vital Suicide Support Centre, the swagger to celebrate the successes all along the way, and that faith that our community will make a difference for the young people in our town.
Never has it been more important for our children and young people to receive the mentah health education they deserve.
And to know that it really is #oknottobeok.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As a community activist, Sue was an integral part of the Gobaith Campaign for a much-needed Barry Suicide Support Centre. She was Media Lead, and Communications Advisor, for the Group who have now merged with CUBE.