Thank you to Mary’s parents Sharon and Paul for sharing their daughter Mary’s story.

This is Mary, she was a beautiful young woman, working for the NHS as a trainee nursing associate. 

She was caring, considerate and compassionate. 

She had drive and determination. 

She hated injustice and discrimination. 

Mary would always “have your back” as she was steadfast, dependable and loyal. 

She had the most amazing friends who she called her “best girls". 

She was capable, practical and shrewd. 

She was a problem solver and a fixer. 

She was feisty, spirited and passionate. 

Her generosity knew no bounds Mary was truly amazing and unique. 

She radiated a warmth that touched your heart, with a smile that could light up a room.

Mary suffered from “depression” a disease that was trying to hold her back at every turn – yet she managed to excel in her work and education, still managed to keep a loyal group of friends and was a phenomenal daughter, sister and auntie – but in the end it robbed her of her ability to live life how she wanted. The fact that she was loved, admired and adored by everyone she met whilst carrying this burden is testament to just what a wonderful young woman she was.

This is why we want to share Mary’s story to support mental health awareness and to dispel the stigma attached to depression and suicide.

Depression doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care if you are male or female, young or old, rich or poor, your race or religion.

It is an illness of the mind just as cancer is an illness of the body.

Here are some of the words from the first reading Mary wrote for her funeral……

Depression is living in a body that fights
to survive, with a mind that tries to die

You believe everything you do is wrong.

You overthink every situation no matter how big or small.

You trust nobody, because you believe every
person that cares or loves you is against you.

You believe you’re good for nothing and nobody.

You have a loving family but feel alone.

You have the best friends you could ever
wish for but still feel alone.

You hate yourself.

You get defensive about everything and you
push the people you love the most away.

Some days you are ok the next you’re not.

Putting on a brave face drains you. The person you used
to be is no longer there and you feel so empty.

It doesn’t matter how big someone’s smile is or how
confident they portray themselves to be, everyone is fighting
a battle you know nothing about, SO JUST BE KIND!!

Unfortunately there is a stigma attached to mental health and society allows others to demean and demoralise those suffering. If someone you knew had cancer or heart disease they would not be judged or thought of any less so neither should it happen with mental health. 

The attitudes towards mental health and suicide HAS to change NOW in order to allow those suffering not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to survive.

There should be no shame in not feeling ok and it should not define who you are. Suicide isn’t a dirty word, and just saying it will not cause someone to end their life. It is vital that someone who is suicidal is given the space to talk openly about how they’re feeling and have someone who will listen.

Starting a conversation may just be the start of making someone’s life better and stop them from thinking their only way of releasing themselves from their unsurmountable pain is to leave this world. We all need to look out for each other, be kind to each other, don’t judge each other and listen to each other. If just one person can recover as a result of this story then Mary’s life will not have been in vain.

Please STOP - just for 5 minutes to look around you, look at your loved ones, look at your friends, your colleagues, a stranger and even yourself. 1 in 4 will suffer from some form of mental illness in their life, that’s a quarter of the population, it could happen to anyone at any time.

If you or anyone you know are feeling the way Mary did, then please reach out and talk to someone.

There are many places that can help just choose one that best suits you:

Speak to your family, talk about how you’re feeling whether that be anxious, or overwhelmed, or something else. Many people struggle with their mental health from time to time so reach out to a friend, you’ll often find they can relate to how you’re feeling and may have felt similar in the past. 

Follow positive mental health influencers on social media, often they have lots of advice and tips on how to look after your mental health and more ideas on where to turn if you’re struggling. 

Call a mental health helpline, there are lots of charities out there waiting to provide help and support, the Samaritans is one, or have a look online and call the one that you feel is best for you. 

Visit your doctor, they are there to listen to your concerns and can suggest ways to help, medication isn’t the only thing they can prescribe so talk through your options with them. 

If you feel you are in immediate danger of suicide dial 999

Mary’s compassion was abundant in everything she did, and we want that compassion to live on through everyone who hears her story. So be mindful that there are people out there struggling, remember to look beyond the smile, and be kind.

Nothing can bring our baby girl back but we can ensure that by telling Mary's story and supporting Mind Lancashire as many lives as possible will be saved.

Mary tried to suffer her pain alone, she tried to fight it alone, she carried the burden alone.

Mary’s chosen 2nd reading …

I asked her if she was okay
and she said “I’m fine, I swear”.
But when I looked into her eyes,
I clearly saw her struggles there.

She quickly looked away
and tried her best to smile.
She said softly, “I’ll make it through this,
it’s just taking me awhile.

I knew she was hurting,
and I knew her pain was deep.
But she felt the burden was hers,
and hers alone to keep.

I reached out to her,
and our hands entwined.
I said, “I love you, my friend,
so your burdens are also mine.”The Shy Poet


Sharon and Paul.

If you, or someone you know needs, help please click here

Lancashire Mind is a company limited by guarantee (company number 3888655) and a registered charity in England and Wales (registered number 1081427) at 80-82 Devonshire Road, Chorley, Lancs, PR7 2DR. Lancashire Mind are registered with the Fundraising Regulator. For all enquiries, call us on 01257 231660.
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