East Sussex mental health service supports local charity to raise awareness of suicide

Local mental health services joined a charity run in East Sussex this week to help raise awareness of mental health and help remove the stigma associated with talking about suicide.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability healthcare to people of all ages across Sussex, attended the ‘Out Of The Blue’ 5k and 10k run on Thursday 16 May at Ashburnham Place in Battle. The annual event is organised by a fundraising body of the same name which was founded by Katie Beckett in memory of her husband Will who took his own life in 2013.

Katie said: “When my husband passed away, it came as an incredible shock to our family and friends, which is how we came up with the name Out Of The Blue. Our annual events support four charities; The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, Dragonflies Bereavement Project, Winston's Wish and CALM. All of these charities have each played a significant part in our families lives since Will’s death.

“My sister-in-law Lex and I set up the annual run five years ago to try and raise the much needed funds for these four charities. We also wanted to find a way to bring together local people and organisations to help promote the mental health support that is available.

“We are so pleased to have worked alongside Sussex Partnership this year as we continue to work to prevent suicide and raise awareness of this tragedy which sadly affects so many, and we hope that our events will help prevent other families from experiencing the immense tragedy and pain we have had to go through.”

Staff from Sussex Partnership attended the charity run to help raise awareness of mental health difficulties and suicide prevention, with an aim of starting a conversation about the Trust’s Suicide Awareness for Everyone (SAFE) and Say Hello campaign.

Karen Hoskin, East Sussex Care Delivery Service Deputy Director for Sussex Partnership, said: “We were so pleased to be able to join the Out Of The Blue run this year and support them in their mission to raise awareness of mental health difficulties and suicide. It’s incredible that Katie and her family have used the awful tragedy that happened to try and make a real difference for others by both raising awareness and helping to fundraise for a number of charities. We feel privileged to have been able to be a part of this.”