Michael Mansfield QC & Yvette Greenway talk about Anna’s suicide and examines what her mindset may have been. They also discuss the success and positive feedback SOS has received.

Recorded in Nottingham at The Wright Initiative.

SOS was founded by Michael Mansfield QC and his wife  Yvette Greenway-Mansfield, following the deaths of Michael’s daughter by suicide in May 2015 and a friend of Yvette just 5 months earlier on Christmas Eve.

It’s difficult to believe that SOS has now been a Charity for almost 3 years.  This time has been challenging and we look forward to 2020 with our new, diverse and pro-active team in place.

We have some exciting immediate and long term plans for SOS, but our core service will always remain the same – to encourage open discourse amongst anyone affected by suicide or mental ill health, at our free meetings nationwide.  Remember to get in touch if your community or workplace could benefit from one of our meetings.  Talking and being heard is great therapy and for some,  just listening has the same benefits.  As we say ‘It’s time to stop the silence’.

SOS remains unique by bringing the bereaved, those feeling suicidal and those who have attempted suicide together in the same safe, and confidential, space.  Mental ill health is not just about feeling suicidal, it’s about the socio-economic factors that affect our ability to cope, the everyday pressures that simply mount up, sometimes leading to feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation which can manifest themselves in many ways.

The advent of the terrible and destructive Corona Virus outbreak means that we, like many other charities and organisations, have had to change the way we engage with our users – moving away from our traditional face to face group meetings (although these will restart once it is safe to do so) and implementing new ways for new and existing users to connect with us, so that we continue to offer the help and support that is needed.

We have launched our new online chat service through our website, which, like all our other services is free to the end user and offers confidential, one to one chat with someone from SOS.  This service currently runs between 3 and 6pm seven days a week.  To enable us to expand on these hours, we urgently require funding, so please help us if you can especially during these critically difficult times when more people than ever are experiencing mental health fragilities, some for the first time in their lives.  The virus, money issues, job uncertainty, isolation – all these things and more can impact upon a person’s mental wellbeing.

We have also launched Whatsapp chat for one hour between 1 and 2pm daily.  Please note, we do not currently take phone calls, but are working hard to secure the funding necessary to do so.

We are also pleased to offer  video conferencing sessions for corporates.  Please click HERE for more information.

Stigma, shame, silence & isolation sadly often go hand in hand when someone is experiencing thoughts of suicide.  By talking openly and letting people know it’s ok to discuss what they’re feeling, we aim to encourage people to explore their lives, situations and options fully without being judged.  We can still do this via all the platforms we are now able to offer, and those we will be able to offer.

Thanks to all of you for helping SOS with your financial and practical support.  We hope you are all #stayingsafe and looking after yourselves.

From the Team at SOS

As 2019 draws to a close, we say goodbye and thank you to trustees Charles Walker MP, Tom Ganner, Gillian Tully and Phil Williams after their terms expired.

We welcome two new trustees on board – Shakila Holden and Earl Pinnock who join existing trustee Michael Mansfield.

Alongside our trustees, we have three new Patrons  – Hugh Quarshie, Wendy Turner-Webster and Gary Webster who join existing Patrons  Professor Sean Duggan and Maxine Peake.  Our team will help give SOS the best possible opportunities to develop in line with its strategy to assist as many vulnerable people as possible going forward.

Yvette Greenway-Mansfield has stepped down as Trustee but remains CEO and Charity Secretary.

Since the inaugural SOS meeting on 31 July 2015, SOS has held countless public and closed meetings throughout towns and cities in the UK, helping support hundreds of people in person and others via telephone and email.  We have also worked with specific groups of people such as the women’s pension campaigners, medical device campaigners and London Black Cab Drivers, who, collectively are struggling with mental ill health.  We have run several mental health impact surveys for various groups and some of our findings have been used to support legal actions.

Our aims remain the same – to help as many people in as many places as is possible.  So if you think your place of work or local community would benefit from an SOS meeting, the please get in touch.  During Coronavirus, our physical meetings are all cancelled, but we do have plenty of other ways to stay in touch with all of you.

We are extremely proud of what SOS has achieved in under 3 years and tremendously excited about the future services and support we want to deliver..

Thank you to everyone for their ongoing and invaluable support which helps so many people.  If you wish to donate to SOS Silence of Suicide, you can now Text To Donate #YouMatter , set up a direct debit, donate through Just Giving,  Paypal and Amazon Smile

We look forward to meeting you in 2020.

From all of us at SOS Silence of Suicide.

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