World Suicide Prevention Day: Bexhill mum hopes video of son will encourage conversations

A Bexhill mum whose son took his own life has encouraged people, on World Suicide Prevention Day, to talk about their mental health problems.
The Richards family SUS-180706-104417001The Richards family SUS-180706-104417001
The Richards family SUS-180706-104417001

Julie Richard’s son Sam took his own life on August 26, 2017 – his 20th birthday.

To mark three years since his death, Julie put together a video to remember all the ‘amazing memories’ she and her family have of Sam.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She also used the video to encourage people to talk about their mental health problems and to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Julie is also hoping today’s World Suicide Prevention Day will encourage more people to have a conversation about their struggles.

Julie said: “Sam took his life three years ago last month. He lived at home at the time but there was no warning. Nobody had any inkling what was going wrong.

“Mental health is invisible, or it was in Sam’s case.

“He was a bright, energetic, fun-loving person who was generous, kind and loving. I am speaking from the heart because it’s so true.”

Anthony Richards SUS-180806-105628001Anthony Richards SUS-180806-105628001
Anthony Richards SUS-180806-105628001
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Julie said Sam was well-known in the community and his death affected a lot of people.

His family have helped raise thousands for mental health charities since his death, and his sister Hannah won a Pride of Britain award for her inspirational charity work.

Julie is now hoping the video, which includes pictures from Sam’s life along with songs which meant a great deal to him and his family, will help people to start talking about mental health.

“In 2017, mental health wasn’t talked about as much as it is now,” said Julie.

The Richards family SUS-201009-151918001The Richards family SUS-201009-151918001
The Richards family SUS-201009-151918001
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“There was a bit of a breakthrough the following year but now I want people to talk.

“People who have got children, ask them if they are alright. It might only help one person, but I don’t care, I want to raise awareness. Since I uploaded the video, lots of people, including Sam’s friends have contacted me to say it has helped them.”

Julie said the video took her about three months to make and formed part of her grieving journey.

“Looking at the pictures helped me,” she added. “I could have made the video 100 times longer just including pictures of him with a huge smile on his face.

Sam Richards loved Ellie Goulding SUS-201009-151908001Sam Richards loved Ellie Goulding SUS-201009-151908001
Sam Richards loved Ellie Goulding SUS-201009-151908001
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It was hard doing that video but it’s personal to Sam. He loved Ellie Goulding so I used that song. Lost Boys was my daughter’s choice. Sam loved Muse, so there’s a story behind the whole thing. I’m really pleased with it and I hope it can help raise awareness.”

Related topics: