A dad-of-two took his own life just hours after making his lunch and laying his clothes out for the next day.
Stephen Kent was found dead at his home in Gateacre by his daughter Amy in June last year.
The 50-year-old electrician, who owned his own business, was described by his family as “the life of every room.”
He leaves behind his wife Carol, 53, two children Amy, 24, and Andrew, 21, his dad Barry, sister Kathy and cousin David.
Amy said her dad’s death was completely unexpected and she is now aiming to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health.
Before he died, Stephen had decided he wanted to leave his job and his share of the business, and he had arranged to meet his business partner that day.
“Everything was ready for the next day; his clothes were laid out, his lunch was made for work the next day.
“It’s so sad that that’s what he thought was the only answer and it just really wasn’t at all.
“He obviously felt like there was nobody he could talk to about it and that was his easiest option.”
Helplines and support groups
The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.
- CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably (0800 58 58 58) is a leading movement against suicide. It runs a UK helpline and webchat from 5pm to midnight 365 days a year for anyone who has hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.
- PANDAS (0808 1961 776) runs a free helpline and offers a support service for people who may be suffering with perinatal mental illness, including prenatal (antenatal) and postnatal depression plus support for their family or network.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
Amparo provides emotional and practical support for anyone who has been affected by a suicide. This includes dealing with police and coroners; helping with media enquiries; preparing for and attending an inquest and helping to access other, appropriate, local support services. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit www.amparo.org.uk for more details.
- Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit hubofhope.co.uk or text HOPE to 85258 to find relevant services near you.
- Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul’s Place – providing free counselling and group sessions to anyone living in Merseyside who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. Tel: 0151 226 0696 or email: email@example.com
The Martin Gallier Project – offering face to face support for individuals considering suicide and their families. Opening hours 9.30-16.30, 7 days a week. Tel: 0151 644 0294 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy said: “I don’t think there are any words that you can say that will make anyone understand how it feels.
“I think you go through every emotion possible and guilt as well.
“Why wasn’t I there for him? Why did he think that was the only way? And almost like how could he do that to me knowing that I would be the one to find him?
“I don’t want anyone to suffer the way I have and the way my family have and if I can do anything to stop that then I want to.
“It’s horrible to have to go through this and no one should have to.”
On October 24, Amy will be running the Rock n Roll Marathon in Liverpool with her friend John, to raise money for The Martin Gallier Project.
The Martin Gallier Project is a Wirral based charity that aims to prevent suicides, break down stigma and support families from across the North West.
To visit Amy and John’s fundraising page click here.
Amy hopes sharing her story will encourage others to check in with the people around them and talk openly about how they are feeling.
Paying tribute to her dad, Amy said: “He was the life of every room.
“He would cheer everyone up, he was just the life and soul of everywhere he went.
“I went to him for countless things and I always felt so close to my dad, we were just similar.
“I feel like by doing [the marathon] I’m keeping him alive, almost like his spirit is living on through me in a way.
“I don’t want anyone to ever forget about him so I feel like by doing this it’s keeping his name alive as well.”
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