Jonathan’s Voice, and a number of other mental health charities were founded after the death of a loved one by suicide. There is a strong sense of wanting to prevent other families suffering such a tragedy. Below is the account of how another family experienced the suicide of their son James and the wonderful charity that has been founded in his name.
“Suicide amongst men is a serious issue. Men are 3 times more likely to die by suicide than women. It is the biggest cause of death amongst men under 35. The group of men most vulnerable to die by suicide are those aged between 50 and 54 (ONS 2021). In spite of this, finding the right kind of help and information can be difficult.
16 years ago, in 2006 Clare Milford Haven and Nick Wentworth-Stanley lost their son, James to suicide. James had no history of mental illness or depression. However, after a minor operation, he sought urgent help for anxiety and suicidal thoughts. He didn’t find the help he so desperately needed and 10 days after the operation, took his own life. He was just twenty-one.
Clare and Nick were determined to prevent other families from losing loved ones whose needs were not met by existing services.
Over the next 10 years following James’ death, they immersed themselves in finding out about suicide prevention. They met and worked with leading names in the field and others who had been bereaved by suicide. As they started to understand more about suicide and suicide prevention, they noticed there was a gap in services for men like James. Those men who didn’t have pre-existing mental health difficulties but who were experiencing short-term psychosocial problems that could be addressed with therapy.
Clare and Nick’s vision was of a warm and welcoming centre where men in suicidal crisis could receive free professional therapeutic treatment. They wanted to make the experience of finding help as easy as possible, providing an environment where men felt cared for, valued and respected. They felt that if a place like this had been available for James, then he might still be alive.
James’ Place opened in June 2018 in Liverpool. A second centre followed in London in 2022.
If you are a suicidal man in London or the North West, or are worried about someone, you can refer to James’ Place. Visit www.jamesplace.org.uk for more information.”