Meet Jonathan. He loves the great outdoors, will BBQ virtually any food and has proudly worn his Forest shirt on every holiday we’ve been on.
He’s supported Forest since he moved to Nottingham in 1992, always reliving the glory days and never short of a Cloughie quote (always done in a Cloughie voice!). He had a season ticket at the City ground until he moved to Bristol in 2010.
Jonathan has always been up for a laugh. He had a good job, wife and great mates. He worked hard but played hard too. He was always willing to help others – moving house, building furniture and he loved a bit of DIY. He wasn’t much of a footballer himself, but he was devoted to Forest.
Unexpectedly, in October last year, Jonathan took his own life at the age of 35.
It was a shock to everyone around him—he hadn’t been depressed, he had never talked about taking his own life and nothing had changed in his life to make his friends and family think he might. His note said that he felt he couldn’t cope and he didn’t think he could be happy.
Jonathan’s death has truly devastated our family and friends. Losing him in such awful circumstances has been the worst time of our lives. It is truly a terrible waste.
Sadly though, Jonathan’s story is not unusual. On average, 84 men take their own lives every week in the UK. Shockingly, suicide is actually the biggest killer of men under 50 and the leading cause of death in both men and women aged 15 to 24. Yet we’re not doing enough to prevent it.
No matter how okay things seem on the outside, anyone can have these feelings and the people who stand the most chance of preventing suicides are ordinary people – the friends, family, colleagues and neighbours of those whose lives are at risk.
No one needs to suffer in silence. Support is available and there are others who will have been through similar experiences. Just talking about it can really help.
So maybe you have a mate who’s having a rough time, maybe you’re having the rough time. Maybe you’ve been where Jonathan was and have come out the other side. We have to talk about it. We have to take away the stigma associated with mental health and end this tragic waste of life.
Jonathan would have been at the game today. He loved singing in the stands. He was Forest till he died, but he died too soon. Let’s make sure we do what we can to stop this tragic loss of life. Let’s SPEAK OUT for mental health.