The father of a young man who committed suicide in Abbots Langley has said he is determined to raise awareness of suicide in young men.
Marcus Edwards discovered his son Jack’s body in the bathroom of his flat in Wycliffe Court, Pinehurst Close just hours after the pair had been enjoying a barbecue in the gardens of the flats.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but Jack was pronounced dead at Watford General Hospital.
Marcus told AbbotsNews Jack’s death had still not properly sunk in.
He said: “I keep hoping I am going to wake up. It’s not sinking in. I can’t believe it’s happened.”
Marcus has spent the last few weeks trying to understand what drove Jack to take his own life.
He said: “He was unhappy and had so much on his mind as far as I could tell. Maybe he felt it was the only way he could stop himself.”
Since his death, Marcus has discovered that Jack attempted suicide around six months. He said he was devastated Jack did not confide in him.
He said: “He told me he was depressed and had bad anxiety attacks. He was unhappy and had so much on his mind as far as I could tell. We could talk about anything – he could come to me and moaned and I would have said we’d work through it. For him not to tell me that day is an extra kick in the teeth. I’m still waiting to get his phone from the police just to get the hint of an answer.
“For 95 per cent of the time he was happy as anything and had the best sense of humour. He was the funniest kid and there was not one bad thing that I or anyone could say about him. I know he was struggling to find a job and was worried about his family, friends and me so maybe that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Although Jack lived in Clacton on Sea, he spent several days a week with his father in Hertfordshire and was planning to move from Essex to the village. He was due to start a new job and had hoped to move into the same flat as his father.
Marcus said: “He spent three to four days a week with me and a flat become available above me. We had plans to do lots of stuff – people who are suicidal don’t make plans.”
Marcus was one of the pallbearers at Jack’s funeral last month at Weeley Crematorium in Essex. He said that on the day, he and Jack’s friends vowed to fundraise and campaign for suicide awareness charities.
He said: We’ll be setting up a fundraising page and raising money through a series of sponsored events. I’ll also be doing something with Mikey, his best friend.
“If you can get one person to talk, that’s half the battle done – The hardest bit is walking through the door – He’d like me to do something I’m sure.”
If you are experiencing similar issues, help is available.
The OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost is Enough) is a charity in St Albans funding suicide prevention skills training for any individual or community that wants it, especially those interacting with young people, or young people themselves.
To get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07715 311891
The South West Herts branch of the Samaritans can be contacted on 01923 233 333 (local call charges apply). You can also call 116 123.