Two Mansfield women, one of whom tragically lost her brother to suicide, are setting up a support group to help those suffering from depression and bereavement.
Lee Boughton, took his own life eight months ago, after a battle with alcoholism and depression. He was aged just 34.
Now his sister Vicki Zurek and friend Kelly Morgan have set up Suicide Support Group which aims to help those dealing with depression, as well as families and friends who have lost someone to suicide.
Mum of four, Vicki, aged 37, said: “It was a really traumatic time after Lee passed away and there was no where we could go. We were left in the lurch a bit. Having somewhere like this to go would have been exactly what I needed.”
Vicki said she struggled in the aftermath of her brother’s death, especially at the inquest where she was unsure of how the process worked.
“I wish someone would have told me exactly what was going to happen, helped me through it,” she said.
“It would have made things a lot easier, which I why I wanted to set this up.”
“There’s also a stigma about depression and suicide, but every one will have been through similar things, so there will be no judgement here.”
Meetings will be held on Thursdays at Friend’s Meeting House, on Rosemary Street, in Mansfield between 10.30am and 11.30am, with the first taking place on January 26.
The pair have also set up a helpline where they can be contacted for advice from Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.
Kelly Morgan, a mum of two, who has trained and worked as a counsellor, said: “We will be the only group in Mansfield where people can go for help like this.
“It’s for anybody to come to and we will just listen.
“People will be able to meet others who are suffering in the same way and we can help here or sign post them to other services that might be better placed to help them.”
The 38-year-old, from Mansfield, said that she has suffered from depression in the past.
“I am a counsellor, but I am also a human being,” she said,
“I know what it’s like and I can empathise because I have experienced it in my life, which I hope will help.”
The group has been given £500 by Nottinghamshire County Councillor Colleen Harwood and Alan Bell from their electoral division fund, which will pay for start-up costs and training but the women hope to fundraise more cash to keep the Suicide Support Group going and eventually register as a charity.
Vicki said her brother would be happy to know that she has set up the organisation. She said: “He’d be pleased that we were helping. If something good can come of this awful thing, for just one person, it’s worth it.
“We are giving people a place to go, to speak about their problems. He would approve, I think. He was a kind person, who would have done anything for anyone.”