for better mental health

Jess's story: Christmas appeal 2018

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 Cath

To support our Christmas appeal, Jessica's Mum Cath blogs in memory of her daughter.

Jessica was an intelligent, beautiful, fun-loving, sweet and much loved young woman. She was sensitive and compassionate and cared deeply about the world and those in it. She was artistic and loved music.

When she was diagnosed with BPD she didn’t get the help she needed. She self-harmed and took overdoses and she told them she wanted to take her own life but she wasn’t listened to. There was no risk assessment. No support from a mental health team.

Despite this, she seemed to be doing really well. She was working, holding down a full-time job. We thought we were winning. If you had met Jessie in the pub you would never have known she had mental health problems.

But she had secretly been writing in these books about how she felt and when you read them… it’s heartbreaking.

"All our lives have changed – her sisters, her nephew and nieces, everybody is affected."

A few days before she died, she went to her GP, who called the mental health team. They said she was alright and again, there was no support. Losing Jessica was like a hand grenade going off in the family. Losing a child is absolutely the most devastating thing that can happen to any parent, any family. All our lives have changed – her sisters, her nephew and nieces, everybody is affected. It’s a wound that never really heals. It never gets better, it just gets different.

We hold on together as a family. We can’t bring Jessie back but we can try and change things for the better so no other families go through this. We can try to help other young people.

We started fundraising for Mind because we believe they have the ability to challenge at local and governmental level, advocate for those whose voice is unheard. They can educate people, and fight against the stigma of suicide. There are such gaps in service provision, I think Mind can speak out. Mind has got to be there to speak out.

"Sharing Jessie’s story helps to keep her memory alive. I want to make sure people don’t forget her."

We started cycling to fundraise for Mind and it’s been life-changing. Jessie has been a big inspiration to keep going in the training. We’re organising a ride from London to Amsterdam on what would have been Jessie’s 30th birthday.

There will never come a time when I will not think about who my daughter would be, what she would look like, and how she would be woven into the tapestry of our family.

Sharing Jessie’s story helps to keep her memory alive. She said before she died that no one would remember her if she did die. I want to make sure people don’t forget her.

Jessie’s Mum, Cath

This can't go on

Every two hours, someone in England and Wales takes their own life. This can’t go on. We’re determined that, in 2019, more people will get help early on.

Your gift today to our Christmas appeal could help in so many ways, including helping us campaign harder than ever for better emergency care so that people like Jessica get the help they need and deserve.

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